OCEAN CITY — As far as Ocean City is concerned, the Dew Tour is still planning to return to the resort in August as planned.
Ever since the Ocean City Mayor and Council selected Coca-Cola as its new official beverage franchise, rather than renewing with Pepsi, unconfirmed reports have been circulating that Dew Tour officials were reconsidering returning to Ocean City for the second consecutive year. Mountain Dew is a Pepsi product.
If that’s true, Ocean City officials are unaware of any change of heart. Acting Tourism Director and Communications Manager Donna Abbott said talks are continuing with Alli Sports, organizer of the Dew Tour, and took place as recently as last week.
“Everything is still on track and we are just waiting for them to make the big announcement,” Abbott said. “I just spoke with their marketing rep last week. In fact, she called me and said they were working on ironing out some details for another stop. She said that was holding us up a little bit as far as making the big announcement.”
An official with Alli Sports did not return a phone call for comment yesterday.
The new contract with Coca-Cola took effect on Monday and has an annual value of $286,172. The franchise contract, among other things, designates Coca-Cola as the “official soft drink of Ocean City,” and provides that its products will be served in all town-owned properties and at all town-operated events.
Benefits provided to the town by Coca-Cola include a direct annual cash payment of $65,000, commission on product sales, media advertising, free product for Town events, and marketing and promotional support. Coca-Cola also will contribute $5,000 annually to the Ocean City Recreation Boosters, a non-profit community organization that supports the Town’s recreation programs.
Abbott pointed out the beverage franchise contract specifically exempts the Dew Tour. She also added that Dew Tour officials last year were unaware the town even had a beverage franchise agreement.
“I did not get any indication of any concern with the switch to Coca-Cola,” she said. “They had their highest attendance ever at an event last year here, and I can’t believe they would want to walk away from that.”
Approximately 73,000 fans attended the Dew Tour Pantech Open over the course of the four-day event last July. Portions of the event were televised nationally.
The Dew Tour features skateboard bowl and vert, BMX bowl and vert, and surfing competitions. Other Tour stops last year included Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas.