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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-The developers of the under-construction, $2-billion Meadowlands Xanadu retail/entertainment complex here recently revealed that they would build a 287-foot-high Ferris wheel–the world’s tallest–at the site. Now, the attraction will apparently also be the world’s largest soft drink advertisement.

Meadowlands Development and Pepsi-Cola yesterday revealed that they had signed a naming-rights agreement, under which the “Pepsi Globe” logo will cover much of the wheel’s exterior surface. As part of the 10-year deal, Pepsi will also implement a series of promotional activities and tie-ins, including nationwide distribution of 450 million soda cans featuring the wheel with the Pepsi logo.

The deal still requires the approval of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority – Xanadu is rising, slated for a November opening, on land that is leased from the state agency. That lease agreement calls for Njsea approval on any and all signage agreements related to Xanadu.

Both Meadowlands Development and Pepsi declined to reveal the value of the deal, indicating that the number would be made known after the agreement was formally submitted to the NJSEA for approval. Published reports, however, put the number at $100 million, and sources confirm that figure.

“The Pepsi Globe is an iconic symbol that is reflective of our brand’s identity,” says Cie Nicholson, SVP of Pepsi-Cola North America. “Having a partner like Meadowlands Xanadu makes this a tremendous collaboration.”

“The Pepsi Globe will be an instant landmark,” says Laurence Siegel, president of Meadowlands Development, which is a partnership of Colony Capital, Dune Real Estate Funds and KanAm. “The great wheel is also a colossal branding opportunity.”

Meadowlands Xanadu is rising around the Izod Center, formerly known as Continental Airlines Arena before its own rebranding in 2007. Xanadu’s approximately 2.3 million sf of retail and entertainment space will be divided into five themed areas. Among its other attractions, besides the Ferris wheel, will be this country’s first indoor snow dome and a skydiving tower.

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