Although no longer the rapidly growing category it once was, the bottled water industry’s sponsorship activity shows no signs of slowing down.

According to Beverage Marketing Corp., wholesale bottled water sales totaled $11.5 billion in ’07, up 5.5 percent from ’06 and 45.5 percent from ’02.

Bottled water may be narrowing the gap with carbonated soft drinks–a category that still maintains consumption levels nearly twice that of bottled water–but it also continues to face competition from flavored and enhanced waters, a segment that increased sales by more than 30 percent in ’07.

That competition has bottled water marketers signing sponsorships to build brand image, gain on-site sales rights and acquire promotional platforms they can share with trade partners.

A key trend: sponsorships and activation programs that tout sustainable business practices as the category combats criticism of the environmental impact of its packaging.

Bottled Waters: Who Does What
Company
Dasani , Evian
The Coca-Cola Co.
1 Coca-Cola Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30313

Targets / Objectives / Key Activations
Dasani, the second-largest bottled water brand in the U.S., focuses its national marketing efforts on Dasani Blue Bikes, a proprietary program in which consumers can use free Trek bicycles to explore trails in 13 markets. Brand’s other ties are through corporate and bottler multi-brand deals. Upscale Evian, the country’s 16th largest brand, last year expanded its 23-year-old partnership with the US Open to include a tie to the seven-tournament Olympus US Open Series.

Sponsorship Contact
Ray Crockett, Director of Public Relations, Dasani

Lauren Kinelski, Public Relations Manager, Evian
404/676-2121

Current Sponsorships
Dasani: Big E Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, Mass.; BMW of Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon; Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Mercedes Marathon, Birmingham, Ala.; Nation’s Triathlon, Washington, D.C.; NCAA; NFL Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints; NHRA; Tennessee Performing Arts Center; Thunder Road Marathon, Charlotte, N.C.; TOP, IOC; Under Armour Senior Bowl, Mobile, Ala. Evian: Copper Mountain Resort, Colo.; Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival; Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, New York City; USTA US Open and Olympus U.S. Open Series.

Additional Comments
US Open affords title of Evian Day, exclusive on-site sales rights and other benefits. Activated ’08 US Open with a booth where attendees could mingle with models, meet tennis star and Evian endorser James Blake, and visit kiosks to learn about facial sprays and other products on ShopEvian.com. Signed with Fashion Week to promote a limited-edition bottle designed by Christian Lacroix; Evian previously sponsored the property from ’93 to ’03. Coca-Cola has North American sales and marketing rights for Groupe Danone-owned Evian. Dasani touts The Coca-Cola Co.’s partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ The Heart Truth campaign on Dasani.com.

Company
Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine , Spring Water
CG Roxane, LLC
55 Francisco Street, Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94133

Targets / Objectives / Key Activations
The sixth best-selling U.S. bottled water uses sponsorship to demonstrate its community involvement and environmental responsibility, as well as to gain on-site sales and sampling rights. Privately held company focuses on national properties, as well as events located near its headquarters. Twenty-year-old tie to Pier 39 affords multiple consumer touchpoints, including title of a family stage offering free entertainment, sponsorship of the venue’s EarthFest and sales rights in food courts and restaurants as well as on ferries and cruise boats. The deal includes exclusivity in the flavored water and vitamin water categories.

Sponsorship Contact
Jordan Nelson, Brand Manager
415/616-9590

Current Sponsorships
American Forests; California Coastal Commission; Hole in The Wall Gang Camp; ING Bay to Breakers 12K, San Francisco; National Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk MS events, Florida and California; Pier 39, San Francisco; Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, University of California, Davis.

Additional Comments
Performers on the Crystal Geyser stage frequently feature bottled water in their performances and distribute product to attendees. Signed partnership in ’08 with California Coastal Commission’s California Coastal Cleanup Day; touted the event on bottleneck hangers on Crystal Geyser product sold through Whole Foods, the event’s presenting sponsor. Inked exclusive supplier relationship with The Mobile Catering Cooperative of America in November; agreement includes distribution rights at office complexes and construction sites.

Company
Alhambra, Belmont Springs, Crystal Springs, Hinckley Springs, Kentwood Springs, Nursery Water, Sierra Springs, Sparkletts
DS Waters of America, Inc.
5660 New Northside Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30328

Targets / Objectives / Key Activations
DS, formed in ’03 as a joint venture between the North American operations of Group Danone and Suntory Int’l Corp., is the country’s fourth largest bottled water marketer. The company primarily uses sponsorship to increase brand recognition and promotional opportunities for its home and office delivery service. Alhambra is sold primarily in Northern California; Belmont Springs in New England; Crystal Springs in the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Northwest and Southeast; Hinckley Springs in the Midwest; Kentwood Springs in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi; Sierra Springs in California, Texas and the Rocky Mountain region; and Sparkletts in Arizona, Southern California and Texas. Corporate reviews proposals, forwarding qualified leads to 13 field-based general managers for funding. Accepts proposals via email at events@water.com.

Sponsorship Contact
Joseph Silva, Director, Marketing and Sales
770/933-1400

Current Sponsorships
Alhambra: California State Fair; WTT Sacramento Capitals. Belmont Springs: Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Crystal Springs: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race; Comcast Bite of Seattle; Tall Ships Tacoma. Hinckley Springs: Bank of America Chicago Marathon; Chicago Air & Water Show; Chicago Blues Festival; NBA Chicago Bulls; NHL Chicago Blackhawks; Taste of Chicago. KentwoodSprings: Allstate Sugar Bowl; Louisiana State University athletics; NFL New Orleans Saints; The Times-Picayune Crescent City Classic road race. Sparkletts: Arizona State Fair; Houston Children’s Festival; iFest, Houston Int’l Festival; L.A. County Fair; Legoland California Resort; MLB Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Los Angeles Dodgers; NBA Houston Rockets; Rose Bowl; San Diego Zoo; State Fair of Texas.

Additional Comments
Frequently looks for exclusivity in the bottled water delivery category, such as Kentwood Springs’ status with the New Orleans Saints; the team promotes the service through email blasts and other communications
to season ticket holders and business partners. Kentwood Springs leverages LSU tie to gain on-site sales rights for school-themed private-label Tiger Water; the brand activates the tie with ticket sweepstakes and promotions offering school-branded Crocs footwear to consumers who sign up for home or office water delivery service for at least one year and purchase at least two three- or five-gallon bottled water products. Sierra Springs and Nursery Water brands do not actively sponsor.


Company
Fiji Water
Fiji Water, LLC
11444 West Olympic Blvd.,
Suite 210
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Targets / Objectives / Key Activations
Fiji is the 14th largest bottled water brand in the U.S. and the second largest import behind S. Pellegrino. The privately held company largely focuses on film festivals, equestrian events, causes and other types of properties where it can sample to upscale consumers and gain platforms for retail promotions. Also uses sponsorship to support green business practices following criticism of its environmental record: It signed a six-year deal in ’08 with MLS Real Salt Lake to be a founding partner of the team’s new eco-friendly Rio Tinto Stadium. Fiji also has partnered with Conservation Int’l as part of its green effort; the company touts the tie on FijiGreen.com. Accepts proposals via email at sponsorships@fijiwater.com.

Sponsorship Contact
Sinia Benson, Executive Assistant to Marketing Team
310/312-2850

Current Sponsorships
AFI Fest presented by Audi, Los Angeles; Aspen Music Festival and School; Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (nine cities); Bonelli Olympic Distance Triathlon & Steamboat Express Triathlon, San Dimas, Calif.; Conservation Int’l; The Hampton Classic, Bridgehampton, N.Y.; Kitten Fashion Week, Los Angeles; Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong Challenge presented by Nike (four cities); Los Angeles Triathlon Championship Series (three events); MLS Real Salt Lake; Need for Speed Relay Against Domestic Violence, New York City; Rose Bowl; Taste Washington! The Ultimate Wine Experience, Seattle; Turning Stone Resort Championship, PGA Tour stop, Verona, N.Y.

Additional Comments
Last year expanded its six-year-old partnership with the Avon Foundation with a cause marketing program that donated five percent
of sales from a designated local retailer during the month of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in the nine walk markets. Serves as promotional partner of the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards, around which it provides product in attendee gift bags. Dropped one-year sponsorship
of AVP Crocs Tour at the end of ’07 season.

Company
Acqua Panna, Arrowhead, Calistoga, Contrex, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestlé Pure Life, Ozarka, Perrier, Poland Spring, S. Pellegrino, Zephyrhills
Nestlé Waters North
America, Inc.
777 W. Putnam Ave.
Greenwich, CT 06830-5091

Targets / Objectives / Key Activations
Country’s largest bottled water marketer uses sponsorship to increase visibility, reach consumers at the point of consumption, gain platforms for retail promotions and earn on-site sampling and sales rights. Also sponsors to promote green business practices: Poland Spring has activated the ING New York City Marathon by installing recycling stations for the 75,000 one-gallon water containers it distributes at the race. Nestlé Pure Life and four import brands are distributed nationally. Arrowhead and Calistoga are sold in the West; Deer Park in the Mid Atlantic; Ice Mountain in the Midwest; Ozarka in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; Poland Spring in the Northeast; and Zephyrhills in Florida.

Sponsorship Contact
Stacy Roth, Brand Manager
203/531-4100

Current Sponsorships
Acqua Panna: Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Arrowhead: Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors; Universal Studios Hollywood. Calistoga: Stern Grove Festival, San Francisco. Ice Mountain: Fifth Third River Bank Run, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Brookfield Zoo; Cleveland Triathlon; MLB St. Louis Cardinals. Ozarka: Conoco Phillips Rodeo Run, Houston; MLB Texas Rangers, Smirnoff Music Centre, Dallas. Perrier: Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, Newport, R.I. Poland Spring: Title: Poland Spring Arena, Toms River, N.J. Cosponsor: Boston Marathon, Cigna Falmouth Road Race, Massachusetts; Hunter Mountain Ski Resort, New York; ING New York City Marathon; Loon Mountain Ski Resort, New Hampshire; MLB Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees; TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K, Cape Elizabeth, Maine; Waterville Valley Ski Area. S. Pellegrino: Share Our Strength. Zephyrhills: Title: Dig the Beach beach volleyball series (nine Florida cities). Cosponsor: Publix Family Fitness Weekend, Winter Haven, Fla.; St. Anthony’s Triathlon, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Universal Studios Orlando.

Additional Comments
Contrex, Nestlé Pure Life and Deer Park brands do not currently sponsor. Nestlé Pure Life signed a two-year endorsement deal this month with fitness guru Bob Greene; brand also has created the proprietary Go Play! school fundraising program to reach mothers. Nestlé Waters sponsored Martha’s Vineyard Int’l Film Festival in ’08 on behalf of Project Wet, a global water education program. Also last year, French parent Nestlé Waters announced a partnership with the Tour de France on behalf of Vittel brand.

Company
Aquafina
Pepsi-Cola North America
Beverages
700 Anderson Hill Rd.
Purchase, NY 10577

Targets / Objectives / Key Activations
Best-selling bottled water brand in the U.S. has moved away from arts, fashion and film festivals over the past several years in favor of pro sports, marathons, causes and other events to reach consumers in need of hydration and highlight its “Make your body happy” tagline. Frequently participates in multi-brand Pepsi-Cola deals. Company last year made Aquafina the lead brand for its longstanding MLB deal. Also looks for on-site sales and sampling rights, as well as the opportunity to conduct recycling programs. Frequently aligns with events to tout new line extensions. Deals emanate out of corporate and local bottlers.

Sponsorship Contact
Andrea Seek, Senior Manager, Aquafina
914/253-2000

Current Sponsorships
Crim Festival of Races, Flint, Mich.; Keep America Beautiful; Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis Aquatennial; Pacific Life Holiday Bowl; Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon; Under Armour Baltimore Running Festival.

Additional Comments
Shares in other Pepsi-Cola multi-brand sponsorships, including Dallas White Rock Marathon presented by NexBank, 14 MLB teams, MLS and Wildlife Conservation Society. Frequently teams with retailers on account-specific promotions. For example, over the last three years has partnered with Sam’s Club to distribute fleece jackets made out of recycled plastic bottles as part of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup.

Sales rankings per Beverage Marketing Corp.