Pepsi puts its game face on in fresh partnership with Qatar Football Association

The CEO of the global beverage company said the partnership promotes the “long-standing relationship with great football to another level with the home team of Qatar.”

PepsiCo has put on its Al-Annabi jersey on in a fresh partnership with the Qatar Football Association (QFA), becoming the national team’s official beverage partner.

Under the exciting collaboration, Pepsi is also the partner of the Qatar National Under-23 Football team, adding to the global beverage company’s long history of supporting sports in all of its forms.

In an exclusive interview, Doha News spoke to Aamer Sheikh, CEO of PepsiCo – Middle East, to learn more about the thrilling partnership that further promotes the beauty of sports.

Here are the questions asked and the CEO’s responses:

Why is the sport of football a particular passion point for PepsiCo?

“PepsiCo – through its many brands Aquafina, Gatorade, Pepsi – has a long history of supporting sports in its many forms—from hockey, basketball, American football, to multinational sporting events like UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s Champions League.

PepsiCo goes beyond just delivering refreshing flavours and products, as the beloved brand utilises sports as a means to unite all generations together.

PepsiCo acknowledges the power of football, as the sport is one of the – if not the most – popular sport in the world that attracts nearly 5 billion fans from around the globe – be it the Middle East, Latin America, or Africa. As a people-centric brand, we are always on the lookout for ways to ignite unity and spark joy, through our brands.”

It must be very exciting for PepsiCo to partner with QFAduring this historic time in the country’s sports history. Please give us an overview of the ‘Official Beverage Partner’ cooperation with QFA. 

“Our partnership with QFA allows us to take PepsiCo’s long-standing relationship with great football to another level with the home team of Qatar 

PepsiCo’s new partnership with QFA will see the popular brand become the official beverage partner of both the Qatar National Football team and Qatar National Under-23 Football team. To this end, Aquafina and Gatorade, PepsiCo’s well-trusted brands, will hydrate players on a daily basis, in order to maintain performance and aid recovery with the latest innovation in sports and hydration, both on and off the field.

Through the world’s number one sports drink*, Gatorade will provide access to its elite portfolio of sports fuel products. Through PepsiCo’s water brand, Aquafina will provide players with the ultimate hydration.”

Why are sports drinks like Gatorade and its elite portfolio of sports fuel products important for athletes?

“When a person exercises, they lose electrolytes in addition to water through their sweat—over 50 years in the making, Gatorade is a scientifically researched and game-tested way to replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat. Gatorade contains key electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Electrolytes replace what is lost in sweat, promote the drive to drink, and aid in the maintenance of plasma volume. Carbohydrates help the body absorb fluids quickly.

Nevertheless, Gatorade is not just designed for serious athletes, as it can also benefit all of us who enjoy being physically active or are just looking for extra hydration.

Simply put, Gatorade’s main pillars is to fuel athletic performance, whether it’s for training, practice, or the intense tournaments—for hobbyists and professional athletes alike.”

Source: PepsiCo

What does this partnership with QFA mean for Qatar’s very excited community—what can they expect as a result of this partnership?

“What happens outside the pitch has become just as important to the fan build-up and excitement as what happens during games—especially in a whole new territory, the Arab World.

To celebrate local pride with supporters here in Qatar, we are launching across stores an innovative new Pepsi Annabi grape cola in the Qatari national team’s colors, with whom we are partnered as ‘Official Beverage Partner’. On shelves around Qatar, fans of Pepsi will notice a new limited-edition iconic drink glistening with the Qatari team’s colors and a mouthwatering new Grape flavor.

The new drink was recently unveiled to the world with a memorable twist to the QFA celebratory Annabi song, featuring the Qatari footballers.”

With 2023 approaching, what can Qatar expect from PepsiCo in terms of new launches, upcoming products, and events?

“Recently, Aquafina, PepsiCo’s global hydration brand, became the first beverage brand in Qatar, and the GCC region, to introduce locally manufactured, 100% recycled plastic bottles (except labels and caps), demonstrating the brand’s commitment to drive a circular economy and reduce packaging waste.

In 2023, we will continue using the power of our brands to inspire people to make more positive choices for themselves and the planet. 

On another note, moving forward, PepsiCo will also be focusing on a new direction, one that prides itself in its ability to bring fans together from all around the globe.

Qatari residents and citizens can expect to benefit from the recently launched campaign ‘Thirsty for More’ starring global footballing icons, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Paul Pogba.

‘Thirsty for More’ will reinforce Pepsi’s international brand strategy, as the local and global community will both benefit from a series of large-scale executions and activations set to be launched soon.”

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