U terminates Red Bull agreement

Red Bull overstepped its purchase agreement by marketing on campus.

Sallys Saloon and Eatery bartender Kevin Sprenger prepares a vodka and red bull, one of the restaurant’s most popular drinks. Although the University of Minnesota discontinued its contract with Red Bull, students can still find the drink at off campus locations.

Sally’s Saloon and Eatery bartender Kevin Sprenger prepares a vodka and red bull, one of the restaurant’s most popular drinks. Although the University of Minnesota discontinued its contract with Red Bull, students can still find the drink at off campus locations.

Taryn Wobbema

The University of Minnesota discontinued its contract with Red Bull, after repeated breaches in the purchasing agreement between the University and the energy drink company. University spokesman Dan Wolter said Red Bull repeatedly violated parts of the agreement prohibiting them from marketing the drink on campus. The violations led to the halting of the relationship. Any Red Bulls not sold by the University before Oct. 9 were pulled from the shelves, Leslie Bowman, executive director of UDS Contract Administration said. Jennifer Belongia, a spokeswoman for Red Bull, acknowledged the companyâÄôs inability to market on campus due to a preexisting contract the University had with Coca-Cola. Red Bull was unwilling to comment on its marketing strategies for âÄúproprietaryâÄù reasons, Belongia said in an e-mail. The Coca-Cola Company has an exclusive contract with the University, which includes exclusive marketing and availability on campus, with a few exceptions outlined in the contract. According to the contract with Coca-Cola, which was renewed in April 2008 for 10 years, the University may have agreements with two other companies provided they are not soft drinks. Those beverages are allowed to be sold in three designated locations on the Twin Cities campus and one location on each of the coordinate campuses. The University makes $38 million overall from its agreement with Coca-Cola, exceeding its previous contract by $23 million. Bowman said Gatorade and Red Bull were chosen based on data the University obtained showing those two beverages would do well on campus. Red Bull was available in Essentials Market in Blegen Hall, M deli in Coffman Union and the Gopher Spot in the St. Paul Student Center. While Red Bull contributed in sales for the University, Bowman said she does not think they will feel the effect of its absence. âÄúYou either bought a Red Bull or you bought a Full Throttle [another energy drink],âÄù Bowman said, adding students probably made their choice once they saw what was available, not because they knew Red Bull was being sold. Bowman said there were other reasons beyond marketing issues attached to the ending of the agreement, but she would not specify. Still, the Red Bull Mini Cooper can be seen driving along on the outskirts of campus. Belongia said Red Bull will continue selling its energy drinks in and around the Twin Cities and students can find them at off campus locations.