Students drink less Coke, UBC gets fewer dollars
University of British Columbia students didn't drink as much Coca Cola as predicted a decade ago. So the university will have to work with a smaller budget for the next two years.
In 1995, UBC and Coke signed a 10-year, $8.5 million deal. But that assumed students and staff would drink 33.6 million cans or bottles of Coke products by 2005.
The contract was the first exclusive agreement between a Canadian university and a beverage company.
But since it was signed, only 17 million Cokes have been consumed on campus, just over half the requirement. That shortfall means Coke can extend the deal for two more years without paying more fees.
The deal was very controversial when it was announced. Students held Coke boycotts and protested a visit from the company's chief executive officer.
Alma Mater Society president Spencer Keys said he didn't feel the controversy was to blame for the low drinking levels. He pointed to different drinking habits in Canada and the U.S. "Their quotas were based on quotas that would be very reasonable but simply don't translate well to Vancouver. We're healthier people."
But Keys wouldn't rule out the possibility of UBC looking for another deal for outside funding. "I believe that this will always be a hot marketplace," Keys said.
"It could be Coca-Cola that comes back; it could be another beverage company. But I'm sure that somebody is going to want to pony up the dough."