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    Pepsi, 7 Up, Snapple Get Jump On Summer

    Beverage promo season heating up.

    The battle to see which beverage brand has the bigger, better national summer promotion will not include Coca-Cola, which said it will sit out this year's foray. But, according to a Brandweek report, Coke's competitors will dangle everything from cars to trips to the World Series and outer space.

    No. 2 beverage company Pepsi-Cola this week kicks off its "Go Pro" sweepstakes, offering free tickets to 10 major sporting events and $100,000. Codes under the caps of 1 billion bottles of Pepsi, Mountain Dew and other brands can be entered online to earn points for 240 sports-themed prizes and the chance to win tickets and cash.

    Support will include a 30-second spot, via BBDO, New York, debuting this week. Tagged "Drink Pepsi. Go pro," it will feature such sports stars as Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees), Vladimir Guerrero (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Jeff Gordon (Nascar), Freddy Adu (MLS's D.C United) and Shaun White (pro skateboarder/snowboarder).

    "It's more than just a standard promotional opportunity," said Darrell Johnson, senior marketing manager at the Pepsi Sports Group, Purchase, N.Y. "We're taking all of our marquee athletes and sport properties and bringing them together for something more compelling."

    Brandweek also reported that Cadbury Schweppes plans to give its floundering 7 Up brand a lift by offering a rocket ride into space via the X Prize Foundation. Dr Pepper will give away one BMW Mini Cooper convertible every day beginning May 16 for 75 days. TV and radio tags, via Young and Rubicam, New York, support, as will a 40-city mobile Mini marketing tour.

    Snapple, which has a long history of off-center summer promos, launches its "Win yourself a favor instantly" under-the-cap contest this month. Consumers can win up to 8 million favors, including three grand prizes: "Borrowing our car" (a lease deal for a new automobile), "Staying at our place" (a trip) and "Using our tickets" (winning cash to buy tickets to a sporting event).

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