Fan Cans developed team-themed recycling bins, such as the above can for the Minnesota Vikings, to encourage recycling of bottles and cans in sports facilities.

Travel and leisure venues usually are big business for beverage distributors. But as the summer heat sets upon the country, recreational locations, like many other channels, continue to report sales that are down from historic totals.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA), Washington, D.C., reported in its “2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast” that not only are food venues being hurt by a weak domestic economy, but also by weaker international tourism. Spending by international visitors plunged 16 percent in the first 10 months of 2009 compared to the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Travelers and visitors are a key customer demographic for restaurant operations, NRA’s report says. They represent an average of 40 percent of fine-dining, 25 percent of casual- and family-dining, and 15 percent of quick service sales, according to association research.

While about 70 percent of the restaurant industry’s 2010 projected sales derive from locations dedicated specifically to eating, sales at lodging places and recreation and sports centers, such as movie theaters, sports arenas and bowling lanes, contribute to the 30 percent of sales that aren’t at mainstream locations. Hotel and other accommodation restaurants generated a projected $25.8 billion in food and drink sales in 2009 and are expected to increase 4.6 percent in 2010.

Recreational venues generated sales similar to lodging locations in 2009. Recreation and sports centers reported a projected $25.5 billion in food and drink sales in 2009 and are expected to increase 2.2 percent in 2010, NRA reports.

Sports sales and marketing
While sport centers’ food and beverage sales aren’t projected to grow as quickly as other areas of the foodservice channel, they still represent key accounts for beverage distributors.

At the end of June, Coca-Cola Enterprises signed a five-year deal for Coca-Cola to become the official soft drink of the Seattle Seahawks, one day after the team and Jones Soda Co., Seattle, opted not to continue their sponsorship relationship. The announcements ended a three-year relationship for Jones Soda to exclusively provide carbonated beverages to Qwest Field, where the Seahawks play.

In addition, the Seahawks announced that all sparkling beverages offered at concession stands will be packaged in The Coca-Cola Co.’s 20-ounce PlantBottle, the recyclable bottle made from a blend of up to 30 percent plant-based materials. Qwest Field is the only National Football League (NFL) venue to offer all Coca-Cola sparkling beverages in PlantBottle packaging, the Seahawks say.

At the end of June, Diageo announced its own sponsorship deal with the NFL’s New York Giants and the New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.Y. The multi-year deal will highlight its Captain Morgan and Smirnoff brands, Diageo says. The agreement allows for hospitality, brand visibility and signage throughout the complex and sponsorship of the New York Giants’ Post Game Show on the team’s flagship radio station.
Diageo also received usage rights to the New York Giants and New Meadowlands Stadium trademarks in conjunction with the Captain Morgan and Smirnoff brands in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Additionally, fans will be able to enjoy the game at New Meadowlands Stadium from two branded bars featuring Captain Morgan and Johnnie Walker. BI