Clark County Fair drops Pepsi for Coke

Switch in beverage sponsor will help keep ticket prices flat

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

Updated: March 1, 2012, 4:34 PM

 

Thirsty Clark County Fair patrons will be wetting their whistles with Coca-Cola products this August instead of the Pepsi drinks that have long been served at the annual event.

After decades of Pepsi sponsorship, the fair has signed a five-year agreement to be sponsored by Coca-Cola, according to a statement issued Thursday. Stipulations of the new agreement have not been released, nor have terms of the fair’s previous contract with the Pepsi distributor, Ridgefield-based Corwin Beverage Co.

“We had a mutually beneficial partnership with Corwin Beverage for many years,” said Matthew Ferris, a Clark County Fair spokesman. “That partnership ended amicably and we are proud to have been associated with them.”

Pepsi’s five-year sponsorship ended in 2011, giving fair officials the opportunity to entertain new proposals. Coke and Pepsi both submitted offers, as did Royal Crown Cola. Coca-Cola’s offer won out, in part, for submitting the most attractive offer, said John Morrison, fair manager.

“The amount of money that was involved, won him over, Morrison said, although he would not reveal the dollar amount.

Exclusive contract

Although the fairgrounds are owned by the county, the 10-day event is overseen by the Clark County Fair Association board. Morrison expects Coke’s sponsorship to enable fair managers to hold 2012 ticket prices at the same price as 2011 tickets.

Coke’s sponsorship gives the company an exclusive beverage contract to serve drinks at food booths and vending machines.

The 10-day fair typically turns a profit of approximately $300,000, funding that is used in part to sustain the county-owned Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds and its horse arena.