Pepsi lends name to All-Star Classic

American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that Pepsi-Cola/Pepsi Bottling Group of Grand Rapids has been named the title sponsor of the 2004 AHL All-Star Classic, to be held February 8 and 9 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Pepsi has been a major corporate partner of the American Hockey League for several years, and was the presenting sponsor of the 2003 Pepsi AHL All-Star Skills Competition in Portland.

“Pepsi is a wonderful fit for the AHL All-Star Classic,” said Bob Sack, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Grand Rapids Griffins, host team for this year’s event. “They are one of America’s great brands, and locally, they have been a foundational corporate partner since the Griffins, inception.”

The 2004 Pepsi AHL All-Star Classic will feature the league’s top Canadian-born players competing against players born in the United States and the rest of the world in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition and the AHL All-Star Game.

“Pepsi is proud to be aligned with two outstanding organizations like the AHL and the Griffins,” said Will Warren, Pepsi’s Market Unit Manager in Grand Rapids. “We believe the prestige of the event provides us with an exceptional marketing tool, especially here in Michigan, and we,re excited to be a part of it.”

The Pepsi Bottling Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of Pepsi-Cola beverages, operating nearly 250 distribution centers in the United States and more than 500 worldwide. Pepsi-Cola North America, the multi-billion-dollar refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo, Inc., in the United States and Canada, produces such brands as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug, Slice, FruitWorks and Aquafina. The company also makes and markets North America’s best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.

The AHL All-Star Classic annually features the top players from all 28 AHL teams and their 30 National Hockey League affiliates. Of the 295 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 91 percent have competed in the NHL, including Tyler Arnason, Daniel Briere, Andrew Brunette, Anson Carter, Zdeno Chara, Pavol Demitra, Mike Dunham, Patrik Elias, Brendan Morrison, Vaclav Prospal, Dwayne Roloson, Marc Savard, Martin St. Louis, Steve Sullivan and Tomas Vokoun.