Pepsi Wins Bidding War to Sponsor Simon Cowell's 'X Factor'
Simon Cowell is now a Pepsi man.
The U.S. version of The X Factor, which Cowell's Syco Television produces with FremantleMedia North America, has inked a deal with the soft-drink maker to become an official sponsor of the singing competition, Fox confirmed Monday.
Pepsi will have commercial time and integrations within X Factor as part of the arrangement, which also calls for a joint website and marketing efforts.
"The social community, the Internet, is going to be a vital part of building up the buzz about this show," Cowell told the New York Times, which first reported the news of an official deal with Pepsi on Monday after speculation surfaced last month.
Fox declined to comment on reports of a $50-100 million bidding war between Pepsi and rival Coca-Cola, a longtime sponsor on Cowell's previous show, American Idol.
But a source familiar with the matter said all major beverage companies were initially approached about a potential sponsorship, with the final decision being made from among several brands.
Jean Rossi, executive vp sales at Fox and president of News Corp.'s cross-platform sales arm Fox One, touted the fact that the Pepsi deal was completed months ahead of its fall premiere.
"Because of the way we want to co-promote this -- being able to leverage some of Pepsi's assets to get the promotion out there to launch the show -- we felt we needed to get out early on this," she told the Times.
Cowell left Idol at the end of last season to focus on X Factor, on which he will serve as judge and executive producer.