How to Make the RSA Pepsi Program Work for Your Rink
By Sara Hodon May 8, 2019
Income and expenses are always a major concern for cost-conscious rink owners and operators. Fortunately, thanks to RSA’s longtime partnership program with Pepsi, rink owners can enjoy tremendous cost savings and, in turn, promote their support of a major corporate sponsor. In other words, the Pepsi program is a win-win for everyone.As part of this program, rink owners and operators see savings on their fountain drinks and receive on-site support several times a year. “If they are a member of the RSA, they can be on our Pepsi contract. Pepsi offers our members a $500 sign-on bonus for a 7-year contract. With that contract they receive a rebate of $1.90 per gallon of syrup, which comes out to $9.50 per 5-gallon bag in the box. They also receive two preventative maintenance calls and three free service calls on their equipment per year,” explains Sharon McMahon, Director of Membership Services and Achievement for the RSA. In addition to the significant discounts, members also have a voice. “They also have an advocate in the office if they’re having problems—they can always call me. I can’t guarantee that the problem will be fixed that same day, but I will try to get it fixed as soon as possible.” Pepsi also offers complementary signage and includes participating rinks in several promotions throughout the year. “It’s a great member benefit for a rink. Pepsi does a lot for the RSA—it’s a great program, and they really work for us. Without their sponsorship we’d have a lot less for our members.”Pepsi has been partners with the RSA for over 30 years. “They’ve given quite a bit to our association,” McMahon explains. “Our account manager has taken over the program within the last two years and has upped Pepsi’s game.”Ed Hughes, owner/operator of Northland Rolladium in Liberty, Missouri, has participated in the Pepsi program for over 30 years and says he’s never had any issues. “The main reason we participate is because the price and rebate is good,” he explains. “In our area, the service is great. I have a good local bottler. Being part of the national program, they have to come out for a service call within a 4-hour window of the call. On the weekdays they’re very responsive, but of course, if anything is going to break, it will be on a weekend!” Hughes notes the service calls typically take a bit longer on weekends due to lighter crews, but overall, he’s been happy with the program. “I also like that it guarantees us contractually to a certain price per year,” he adds. “I understand that everybody’s price has to go up; by being under the contract they can only increase it once a year. With the preventative maintenance calls, service calls, plus the rebate, it’s great. And it’s not only good for me as a rink owner, but it’s good for the Association.” Another attractive benefit to the Pepsi program is its “strength in numbers”. That’s one of the biggest reasons Nick Champa, owner of Champs Entertainment Complex in Lexington, Kentucky, has been a longtime participant. “We have a unique relationship with Pepsi because of our local bottler,” he explains. “A lot of places don’t have this kind of relationship. My local bottler is the largest independent bottler in the country, based out of Lexington. For us, we actually know the people who own our local bottler. I participate in the program so rink owners in smaller markets can have the opportunity to have new, gently used or refurbished equipment. The program helps smaller markets and rinks, and that’s important to us.” Champa says the cost control is also a big advantage for rink owners. “The program does a couple of important things. Your bag and box are going to go up a certain percentage every year,” he says. “Your manufacturers have been facing price hikes on raw goods for years. There have been some cost controls with the program. You’re going to have slight increases but if you didn’t have the protection of the contract, you’re going to have price hikes.”For more information on the Pepsi program, contact Sharon McMahon, RSA’s Director of Membership Services and Achievement, at 317-347-2626 x108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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