PepsiCo West Division President Kris Licht Excited about commitment to OUR community
By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
SoFi Stadium hosted its first official tailgate party Oct. 10, but what followed Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen hotdogs and PepsiCo beverages was not an NFL game featuring the Chargers or Rams.
Instead it was hip hot icon Warren G. as the featured attraction during a celebration for more than 3,000 construction workers who are responsible for what will be a world class sports and entertainment destination in Inglewood.
The occasion also announced the landmark PepsiCo and Hollywood Park partnership’s expansive agreement between PepsiCo, SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles Rams.
As a result PepsiCo and Frito-Lay will be the exclusive soft drink and salty snack partners of the new multi billion-dollar stadium.
The partnership extends across both the Rams and Chargers, PepsiCo has enjoyed an existing partnership with the Chargers for 15 years, but it’s the first of such with the Rams.
While SoFi Stadium is garnering much the attention, adjacent to the stadium and under the same roof will be the 2.5 acre American Airlines Plaza which will feature a 6,000 seat performance venue, capable of hosting a variety of events throughout the year, including esports, award shows, concerts and more.
Moreover, the mixed use development will also feature a mix of residential, retail, commercial spaces and more than 20 acres of park space for the community to enjoy.
PepsiCo is one of the founding partners in the Hollywood Park project and will have a tremendous presence in the mix development project as well.
PepsiCo West Division President Kris Licht was in Inglewood for the SoFi Stadium tailgate tribute and he is really excited about essentially what all of this means to the city of Inglewood.
“Pepsi and Pepsi Cola, we’ve done business in this neighborhood and in L.A. more broadly for 84 years,” Licht explained. “We have thousands of our employees that are Angelinos that live and work in theses neighborhoods, including Inglewood. We have a lot of employees that live and work in Inglewood.”
Licht stated that one of PepsiCo’s big distributions is in Torrance and that many employees at that location reside in Inglewood.
“For us what it means is being more present and creating more opportunities than we’ve ever done before, but it’s not a new thought for us we’ve been contributing in the neighborhood and creating jobs and we see this as a opportunity to do more of that,” Lich told Inglewood Today.
“In addition to that. What’s exciting about having an elite sports property right here is the way we can tie that into youth sports, both through our Gatorade brand, but really through multiple brands in our portfolio we are already doing a lot to support grass roots sports in the community, and we think we have an opportunity to take that to the next level now.”
The Chargers have been a great partner for PepsiCo and Licht says he’s also thrilled about being able to work with the Rams.
“The Chargers have been a great partner for us, our partnership extends back 15 years and we’ve done a lot together and we really value that relationship. The fact that we can now also have a rich partnership with the Rams is just terrific. The Rams is a great organization and its a beloved franchise and it sort has the market cornered as it relates to L.A. football and that’s a great thing for us.”
The Hollywood Park development is most specific to Inglewood.
“The best part about this development, the total Hollywood Park development is that it’s not just the stadium. Now, this is one incredible stadium, but in addition to that it’s retail, its restaurants, it’s parks that are available and open to the public that are going to be beautiful. I believe there are going to be public basketball courts, a lot of places where people can come and have fun with their family, spend time with friends, play sports, listen to music and have a good time in the community in ways that didn’t exist before,” Licht elaborated.
Licht says that he has already spent a lot of time thinking about ways to partner with various community organizations.
“We spent a lot of time thinking through ways we want to partner with Sofi Stadium in the culinary agenda for Sofi and I think there are some really smart choices that have been made. Basically, the culinary direction is going to be about local L.A. food and that’s terrific because L.A. food is one of the best things about L.A. Many different cuisines that sort of define the city and what we want to do is pair up our portfolio of snacks and beverages to get the perfect paring of different culinary experiences and beverages. We will bring in some unique things, things that we are not doing across the country.”
As specifically for the city of Inglewood, Licht says the number one thing that PepsiCo can do for the community is to create good paying jobs.
“Good paying jobs that will allow of us to invest in our business to create more good paying jobs. That’s the number one thing I think we can do. Number two is whether its through youth sports and athletics, whether it be through schools and supporting beautification through schools and other initiatives, just to make sure students have the right supplies in good conditions and those are the things that we care deeply about and that we want to contribute to the local Inglewood community.”
Licht recently was named West Division President, PepsiCo beverages of North America in Feb. 2019, but he is already making his positive imprint on the brand and in the city of Inglewood.
It is as if PepsiCo has stepped up to the alter, asking Inglewood for a partner in marriage. A commitment that is sustainable beyond its most cherished brands within its massive portfolio.
Licht, will be the one who wears the ring of matrimony, embracing the community of Inglewood and saluting its achievements.