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This Campus Brought to You by Pepsi

By Christian Pridemore
On February 24, 2016

Everywhere on campus, students have the choice to buy Pepsi products from the vending machines seen in places like the residence halls, student center, and the Fine Arts building. The reason why students see so many Pepsi vending machines and fewer Coca-Cola vending machines is due to a contract that Concord has with Pepsi. This contract states that Pepsi has both exclusive vending rights and advertising rights with the school, allowing them to have those machines on campus and allowing them to promote Pepsi products. The contract also specifies that the agreement will last until December of 2018, at which point Concord will either renew the contract, or the Pepsi vending machines are repossessed. What students might not be aware of, however, is how beneficial this contract is to the campus and its students.

    “What students need to be aware of is that in this contract, we are given $12,000 annually by Pepsi to redistribute for a scholarship,” says Gary Hylton, Contracts Specialist in the Purchasing Department. Hylton manages purchasing requisitions for the school and makes sure that all the proper paperwork is in order. Hylton states, “We make four copies of the requisition, and we send the original and the vendor copy back to the department requesting the purchase. We send one to the receiving department and we keep one on file…When we send for bids, we advertise in the local newspaper, the Charleston Gazette, and the vendors have a specified time period to submit a bid and then from there we go with whichever vendor gives us the best option.” Hylton’s main duty is oversight of all these bidding requisitions, and making sure that both Dr. Becker and Dr. Boggess are notified when needed.

    In addition to the $12000 that the school gets for a scholarship, Pepsi has also provided the funds to the athletic department for a new scoreboard in the sum of $15,000. And that’s not all; every time a  Concord student buys a Pepsi product there are benefits. According to Hylton, “We also get, and it’s within the contract, the campus gets 45% of the commissions of sales we get on campus.”

    This might seem a bit confusing for students due to the fact that places like the book store and the café also vend Coca-Cola products. Hylton assures that all is well on Pepsi’s end, stating, “Marshall Campbell, who is usually the human resource director legal counsel, discussed it with the Pepsi folks and they came to the agreement that it was acceptable.” Basically, what this means is that Pepsi has no problem with other places on campus specifically vending Coca-Cola products alongside Pepsi products, or even exclusively selling Coca-Cola products in the book store.

    So how does one go about achieving the scholarship offered by Pepsi? “I’m not sure about the distribution,” Hylton states, “All we do is collect the $12000.” The person in charge of the distribution of these funds into scholarships is the Director of Enrollment, Kent Gamble. Unfortunately, Gamble was not available for an interview. If students would like to know more specifically about the contract, contact Gary Hylton at or find him during office hours in room A222. For more information about how the scholarship funds are allocated, contact Kent Gamble at

    The Pepsi contract is definitely beneficial to Concord University and directly influences the students. So the next time you buy a Pepsi from any of the vending machines around campus, remember that you are directly contributing to the funding that the school receives and are making a difference with every refreshing sip.

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