PepsiCo's partnership with the world's largest women's bloggers conference, BlogHer, is being ramped up in its third year -- starting with PepsiCo's chairman/CEO, Indra Nooyi, delivering the event's keynote.
BlogHer '11, to take place in San Diego Aug. 4-6, is expected to draw at least 3,000 female bloggers.
Nooyi, who will speak on the 6th, will issue a "call to action," asking women to "share their stories of inspiration" for a chance to become a "correspondent" for PepsiCo, according to the company. One key women's initiative currently being promoted by PepsiCo is its Women's Inspiration Network (WIN), the global online women's networking portal that the company launched in February.
PepsiCo's reasons for supporting the event are no mystery. Blogger communities influence millions of women in a credible, community context, and as PepsiCo itself states, women are "the key consumer base, driving 70% of household decisions and an estimated 70% of income growth worldwide in the next five years."
"BlogHer is an integral part of our strategy to have digital both drive our business and advance our corporate reputation," stresses Jamie Stein, director, digital initiatives at PepsiCo. "As reviewers, recommenders and most importantly purchasers and consumers of our products, these women are a critical audience for our brands."
Of course, many other brands have jumped on sponsoring the event for the same reasons. This year's sponsor roster includes Ford, HTC, The Hershey Company, Johnson & Johnson, Knorr, Procter & Gamble, Hillshire Farm/Jimmy Dean, Samsung, AOL and Chase Blueprint, among others.
This year, BlogHer is running a programming track consisting of seminars featuring sponsor executives, separate from its main programming track. It will also introduce a conference-specific mobile app.
In addition to Tropicana, Gatorade and Quaker, this year several more key PepsiCo brands will participate in the event: Diet Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Lipton Natural Iced Tea, Sabra Hummus, Sierra Mist Natural and Stacy's Pita Chips.
The company will sponsor "PepsiCo Place," an area where bloggers can network and share "old-school" handwritten messages on Post-it Notes, as well as "PepsiCo Promenade," featuring the raw goods (potatoes, oranges, etc.) that go into making the company's products.
A "PepsiCo Sofa Summit" will include a discussion on balancing work and life featuring Gatorade president Sarah Robb O'Hagan and "Fortytude" author Sarah Brokaw, and conversations led by bloggers.
Other PepsiCo brand activities will include a Gatorade-sponsored running event followed by an informational session for mothers on sports nutrition for kids; a work-out session led by "The Biggest Loser" star Bob Harper, spokesperson for Quaker; a breakfast co-sponsored by Tropicana and Quaker; and a snack break hosted by Stacy's and Sabra.