November 18th, 2008
A Drink Backed by a Sports Hero (Wielding a Mean Game Controller)
By Stephanie Clifford
The New York Times
Dr. Pepper plans to announce on Wednesday that, for the first time, it is promoting a professional athlete on bottles that it will distribute nationally. But the shaggy-haired athlete on the label is not a traditional sports star: he’s a 21-year-old who has a three-year, $250,000 contract to play video games.
Dr Pepper is featuring the Halo 3 player Tom Taylor, who goes by Tsquared, on the labels, which will appear on about 175 million 20-ounce bottles from January to April. It may seem a strange promotion for a national brand like Dr Pepper. But video games are hugely popular with young men, who are playing them instead of watching television and reading magazines.