Coke, Pepsi Battle for Illinois Soda Deal
There's a cola competition going on in Springfield.
Pepsi and Coca-Cola want to be the sole beverage supplier to more
than 2,300 vending machines on state property, the Illinois State
Fair and the University of Illinois.
Officials had hoped more companies would bid on the chance to be the
state government's sole soda supplier, but Illinois Revenue Department
spokesman Mike Klemens says they are satisfied with two bidders. The
winner will be chosen based on how much money its offer will generate
for the state, he said.
Both companies employ high-powered lobbyists with connections to Gov.
Rod Blagojevich's office.
One of Pepsi's lobbyists is William Filan, cousin of budget aide John
Filan. Coca-Cola's representatives in Springfield include John Wyma,
a top aide to Blagojevich during the governor's tenure in Congress.
The state is expected to choose the vendor this spring and launch
the program by July 1.
Other sponsorship deals have produced an estimated $3.4 million for
state government over the past three years.
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