“The cool thing about country artists and country fans is the connection that we have. I don’t look at them as fans, I look at them as buddies and we’re all hanging out together in a concert situation,” Shelton told Billboard at the top of CMA Week. “Pepsi wants music fans to have a chance to have a summer they won’t forget, and that’s how I felt about this summer going out on my first really big headlining tour -- that’s something I won’t forget. They’re also giving away tons of prizes and I even saw somebody in there is gonna win a trip to the Super Bowl. You think I won’t be trying to enter that one? I’ll be putting my name in for that one.”
In addition to Shelton, who will continue to make appearances for Iconic Summer throughout the season, Pepsi will support the new program through its sponsorships of Beyoncé’s The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, which arrives in North America June 28 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, the MLB All Star Game in July, the MTV Video Music Awards in September at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Florida this September, and Pepsi spokesman Hunter Hayes’ fall tour with CMT. For each event, Pepsi fans will have a chance to win exclusive tickets and meet-and-greets by uploading their iconic photos and participating in other fan engagements at www.pepsi.com/iconicsummermoments.
“We wanted to give fans the opportunity to share their iconic moments and create experiences only Pepsi can give them,” says Bozoma Saint John, Pepsi’s director of cultural branding, music and entertainment.
Iconic Summer is the latest seasonal music program for Pepsi, following its 2012 Summer Beats concert series. Created in partnership with Billboard, the program featured exclusive concerts from Katy Perry, Gloriana, Nicki Minaj and an all-star tribute to Michael Jackson with Ne-Yo and Melanie Fiona.
Music has been an increased focus for Pepsi in recent years, particularly North America, where increased pricing and a focus on entertainment marketing were key pillars of the company's 2012 strategy. The results paid off with mixed results in the first quarter of 2013, with PepsiCo reporting an 8% increase in operating profit for its American beverage unit, despite a 1% decrease in revenue and a 3% decrease in sales volume. PepsiCo also increased global ad spend by 11% in the first quarter.
As for what else will make Shelton’s summer iconic? Some much-needed time off around the 4th of July at his home in Oklahoma, a state he recently helped raise $6 million for with his Healing in the Heartland concert. “It’ll be nice to experience the summer how everyone else does for a few days,” he says. “I’ve got a house near the lake, I’ve got a boat, so I’m looking forward to me and Miranda [Lambert] and her family our friends dropping the anchor, playing some times and hang out all day. I’ve had some of the most fun memories there the last two summers.”