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New campus beverage, new electronic sign part of Pepsi deal

January 29, 2002

If you've noticed there's only one soft-drink vendor on campus, there's a reason. As of this semester, Austin Peay State University has discovered "The Joy of Pepsi."

Last fall, APSU officials sent out bids for a sole-source soft-drink vendor for the University. Pepsi Bottling Group of Nashville, Coca-Cola and R.C. Cola were asked to submit proposals. A moving-message board for the University was required in all proposals submitted. The winner: Pepsi.

"Pepsi's proposal gives Austin Peay substantially more," said Dr. Bob Adams, vice president for finance and administration. "Pepsi's entire proposal was better for us, including the message board, which is valued at about $60,000 including installation."

To be located on College Street in front of the Sundquist Science Building greenhouse, the lighted message board will be up and operational by mid-March. The sign stands about eight feet high (excluding support posts) and 13 feet long and will have "Austin Peay State University" and the stylized University logo on the top three feet of space, with Pepsi's logo on the lower two feet.

Two- or three-line messages will scroll continuously in the middle space, with time and temperature inserted between messages to attract the attention of motorists.

New messages, which will be posted daily or more often, if needed, are the responsibility of the Public Relations and Marketing Office, while Computer Services Office staff will assume the technical aspects of information-transfer.

"This is going to be a great communication tool for us," said Debbie Denton, marketing manager. "We can use the board to promote cultural and athletic events, Homecoming and reunion activities, and we'll be able to announce key dates such as application and registration deadlines."

According to Lamar Outdoor Advertising, which maintains traffic-count data for most area roads, 11,400 vehicles travel along College Street daily.

"We're already enjoying our partnership with Pepsi Bottling," Dr. Sherry Hoppe, APSU president, said. "The Pepsi representatives have been accommodating and generous.

"We look forward to the installation of the message board. Most busy universities have such boards, which constantly promote major events and dates. APSU soon will, also."

Hoppe said the aesthetics of the campus were taken into account during discussion of the board's design and location to ensure that the message board would not detract from the beauty of campus, especially the Sundquist Science Complex and Archwood. The base of the sign eventually will be enclosed in brick similar to those in the sign at the corner of College and Eighth streets.