PepsiCo Announces Largest Southwestern Athletic Conference Partnership to Date in Expanded Deal, Doubling Its Investment to HBCUs

26 July 2023

PepsiCo is expanding its relationship with the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), more than doubling its investment in the premiere HBCU conference as it enters a six-year title partnership as the first-ever exclusive beverage, sports performance product and salty snacks sponsor of SWAC Football, Basketball, Olympic Sports and eSports through 2029.

Building on its 2020 commitment as an exclusive beverage partner, the new title sponsorship deal makes PepsiCo the main carbonated soft drink, non-carbonated soft drink, sports performance drink and ready-to-eat snack foods provider of the conference, reaching twelve schools across the south in six states. With eight brands engaged, the deal leverages the power of PepsiCo's diverse portfolio, mirroring the company's overall approach to professional sports partnerships in a continued show of support for HBCUs.

PepsiCo's brands will show up in an even bigger and better way on the sidelines, in-game, on broadcast and more throughout each sports' season and during championship events, including a presence across four SWAC Classics. Fans can expect to see Pepsi Zero Sugar, Gatorade, Doritos and Tostitos throughout the football season; STARRY, Gatorade and Ruffles for basketball; Gatorade for Olympic sports; and Rockstar Energy Drink and MTN DEW for eSports. As part of the expanded deal, PepsiCo will be the title partner of the championship trophy at both the SWAC Football Championship and SWAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament with increased experiential moments for fans and prominent branding on the football field during the championship game as well as on the basketball court.

"PepsiCo's expanded enterprise-wide partnership with SWAC reinforces the value of our increased investment in HBCUs and commitment to uplifting diverse talent as part of our efforts to amplify equity within our business and communities," said Kent Montgomery, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations and Multicultural Development, PepsiCo. "Uniting our powerhouse brands across the PepsiCo portfolio to genuinely connect with HBCUs offers a unique opportunity to elevate the culture, bring authentic and engaging experiences to fans, and provide valuable career development opportunities to invest in students' futures."

As part of the deal, PepsiCo will continue to amplify and support HBCUs with on-site mentorship and recruitment opportunities. A portion of the yearly investment will go directly to SWAC schools to fund scholarships that open the door to greater economic opportunity for students.  

"The Southwestern Athletic Conference is pleased to partner with PepsiCo and its impressive portfolio of brands to enhance our student and fan experience starting this season with much needed improvements across the conference," said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. "We're excited to have PepsiCo and its iconic brands on board with us for the next six years as we continue to work together to uplift and bring new opportunities to our communities."

The partnership will come to life later this year with a tour as the 2023-2024 season kicks off. PepsiCo will activate on-the-ground and in media across four SWAC Classics - Orange Blossom Classic, State Fair Classic, The Pepsi SWAC Classic Presented by GM and Florida Classic – as well as other HBCU campuses during the upcoming football season.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $86 billion in net revenue in 2022, driven by a complimentary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with pep+ (PepsiCo Positive). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people. For more information, visit, and follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn @PepsiCo.

About the SWAC

The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.

Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis. Women's competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.

For complete coverage of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, please follow the SWAC on social media at @TheSWAC (Twitter), @TheSWAC (Facebook), and @TheSWAC (Instagram) or visit the official home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference at