DR PEPPER UNVEILS MLG THEMED BOTTLE
AND PROMOTION AS PART OF EXPANDED SPONSORSHIP
175,000,000 Dr Pepper bottles to feature Tom “Tsquared” Taylor from #1 ranked team in MLG, Str8 Rippin
NEW YORK and PLANO, Texas (Nov. 19, 2008) – Dr Pepper and Major League Gaming (MLG), the professional video game league, today announced an expanded sponsorship relationship. As part of the agreement, Dr Pepper will launch a nationwide promotion where every 20 ounce bottle sold is a winner, supported by an online content experience built around the #1 ranked team in MLG, Str8 Rippin.
“We’re excited about giving Dr Pepper consumers and aspiring gamers inside access to Str8 Rippin and a chance to interact with this great team and Major League Gaming,” said Terry Hockens, brand manager,
Starting in January 2009, there will be approximately 175 million Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper 20-ounce bottles produced throughout the country featuring Tom “Tsquared” Taylor, one of MLG’s biggest superstars. The bottle represents the first time that Dr Pepper has placed any of its sports league partners or sponsored professional stars on its label for national distribution.
“It is an amazing feeling to see my face on the new Dr Pepper bottle,” said Tom “Tsquared” Taylor of team Str8 Rippin. “I’m honored that Dr Pepper has invested in Major League Gaming and put so much support behind me and my teammates.”
In keeping with the brand’s unique level of MLG fan engagement, every Dr Pepper bottle for the promotion is a winner. In addition to chances to win great prizes including Xbox consoles, television monitors, custom headphones and t-shirts, every code entered will earn consumers online tournament points at www.gamebattles.com.
In addition to the new bottle design, a promotional Web site has been developed to include hours of team and individual player content allowing millions of fans to see and hear every aspect of Str8 Rippin and the competitive gaming lifestyle. This material includes tips on how they play, how they prep on the road to the National Championships, and behind-the-scenes features on a day-in-the-life of the top gamers in the world.
“2008 has been a year of unbelievable ‘firsts’ for MLG and the Dr Pepper bottle promotion is like the cherry on top,” said Mike Sepso, co-founder and chairman of Major League Gaming. “The most successful professional sports leagues got that way by creating meaningful partnerships with the world’s premier marketers and we are thrilled to work with Dr Pepper in that spirit. This is one of the largest consumer promotions in video gaming and professional sports, and it’s game-changing for MLG and Str8 Rippin’s talented pro gamers.”
The Dr Pepper sponsored Str8 Rippin team is currently ranked #1 as they enter the National Championships this weekend. The team members include:
• Kyle “ElamiteWarrior” Elam is considered one of the best support players and communicators in the league. He was named MLG Orlando co-MVP in 2007 and joined Str8 Rippin that same year. He comes from a family of gaming high-achievers; little brother Aaron “Ace” Elam, aged 15, is also a Major League Gamer on the 10th ranked team. Kyle is 20 years old, currently attends Northern Kentucky University, and lives in Florence, Kentucky.
• Bryan “Legit” Rizzo is one of the most dominant and consistent players in the league, with solid finishes at every MLG competition for two years running. He was named MLG Dallas MVP in 2007 and joined Str8 Rippin that same year. Bryan is 18 years old, currently a freshman in the University of Central Florida, and lives in Windermere, Florida.
• Tom “Tsquared” Taylor is one of the founding members of Str8 Rippin. He’s been a Major League Gaming Pro since the league’s inception and has become one of its most recognized stars. He’s profiled in a variety of media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Stuff Magazine and ESPN. Tom is 21 years old and lives in Syracuse, New York.
• Eric “Snipedown” Wrona is the newest member of Str8 Rippin and is considered the breakout rookie of 2008. He made his first appearance at an MLG Pro Circuit competition in April of this year, capturing the attention of pros and fans alike, and took first place in only his third showing of the season. Eric is 17 years old, currently a senior in Zionsville High School, and lives in
About Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper is a leading brand in the beverage portfolio of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS). DPS is an integrated refreshment beverage business marketing more than 50 beverage brands to consumers throughout North America. In addition to its flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, the company’s portfolio includes 7UP, Mott’s, A&W, Sunkist Soda, Hawaiian Punch, Canada Dry, Schweppes, Squirt, RC Cola, Diet Rite, Peñafiel, Rose’s, Yoo-hoo, Clamato, Mr & Mrs T and other well-known consumer favorites. Based in Plano, Texas, Dr Pepper Snapple Group employs approximately 20,000 people and operates 24 bottling and manufacturing facilities and more than 200 distribution centers across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. For more information on DPS, please visit www.drpeppersnapple.com.
About Major League Gaming
Founded in 2002, Major League Gaming (MLG) is the dominant media property exclusively targeting the approximately 40 million consumers in North America who have a passion for playing video games as a competitive social activity. The company exclusively represents the best professional gamers and gives millions of aspiring gamers around the world an opportunity to compete, improve their skills, and socialize through our thriving online competitive community and live Pro Circuit competitions. MLG partners include Dr Pepper, GameStop, HP, Old Spice, Panasonic, Stride, Ubisoft, Bungie and Xbox 360. For more information: www.mlgpro.com.