Pepsi Brands Meadowlands Ferris Wheel

A 287-foot tall Ferris wheel in the Meadowlands will get Pepsi branding. The deal is part of a new $2 billion lifestyle, shopping and sports complex called Xanadu, in Rutherford, N.J., adjacent to Giants Stadium. Pepsi signed a 10-year deal with Xanadu, giving it naming rights, among other marketing elements.

The Ferris wheel observation ride will be called "Pepsi Globe." The company says the ride, comprising 26 glass-enclosed capsules holding 20 passengers, will last about 25 minutes for a full revolution. The Ferris wheel was reportedly to have been much bigger--around 400-feet high--until the FAA complained that its height would interfere with local air traffic.

The Meadowlands Xanadu complex, which will cover about 94 acres, will have areas for sports, entertainment, youth culture, food and home, and fashion. The complex, scheduled to open in November, will include such attractions as a manmade lake stocked with fish and a 780-foot indoor ski slope.

Promotional activities for Pepsi include national distribution of 450 million beverage cans featuring the Pepsi Globe commemorating the wheel's grand opening event. Pepsi says that it will make New York-area distribution of Pepsi Globe cans a yearly event. A spokesperson for Pepsi said the Ferris wheel and the Xanadu site will open in November.

Los Angeles-based Branding agency Protagonist, which handles Pepsi, brokered the deal. Kristina Mangelsdorf, director of marketing for Pepsi, said Protagonist was involved in developing the ride, creating the interactive experience inside the capsules and even designing Globe-shaped recycling bins at the venue.

Complexes like Xanadu aren't just a growing trend in East Rutherford and Dubai. Several are popping up around the country. Nissan last year signed a 2-year sponsorship deal with Clear Channel Branded Cities' Westgate Center mixed use complex in Glendale, Arizona.

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