PURCHASE, N.Y., Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — This year’s HBCU homecoming season was unlike anything ever before, but students, faculty and alumni still came together to celebrate virtually across the country. To honor the spirit and camaraderie of the HBCU community, Pepsi, in partnership with “HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio,” is bringing together the exceptional marching bands from Florida A&M, Hampton University, Prairie View A&M and North Carolina A&T – some of whom are traditionally rivals – to create a unified virtual musical event. “iHeartRadio Presents The Pepsi HBCU Marching Band Experience” is voiced by award-winning entertainer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and current HBCU student Megan Thee Stallion, and media mogul and cultural architect Charlamagne tha God, and serves as a reminder of the longstanding fall traditions among HBCUs, which typically bring communities around the country together for an unmatched celebration at the intersection of culture, community, music and football.
Pepsi – a brand with a rich history in music, sports and entertainment – worked collaboratively with iHeartMedia and the four HBCU band directors and their marching bands to curate a first-of-its-kind, tour-de-force virtual performance featuring a cross-generational arrangement of the Curtis Mayfield classic “Move on Up” and Megan Thee Stallion’s chart-topping hit “Savage.”
“It is such an honor to be part of bringing the spirit and energy of HBCU homecoming performances to life for the students and alumni that won’t be able to see it in person this year,” said Megan Thee Stallion. “HBCUs foster an incredible musical culture – one that helped me develop my career – so to be a part of ‘iHeartRadio Presents The Pepsi HBCU Marching Band Experience’ and champion that love for music with these bands is truly special.”
The virtual experience celebrates a month-long “HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio,” which kicked off October 19, as a series of inspiring events designed to shine a light on HBCU pride, Black excellence and student achievement through uplifting, high-energy celebrations across multiple iHeartRadio platforms. The “iHeartRadio Presents The Pepsi HBCU Marching Band Experience” is available on Pepsi.com/HBCUexperience and the Pepsi brand’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“The impact of 2020 has upended a number of events and traditions across the country, including one of the most cherished and anticipated events within the HBCU community – homecoming,” said Todd Kaplan, Vice President, Marketing, Pepsi. “We wanted to create something special that gave these marching bands the opportunity to perform for the students, faculty, alumni, friends and families that are not able to celebrate homecoming in person this year. This virtual performance is a unifying celebration of HBCUs and a chance to show our love, appreciation and support for these incredible music programs that, year after year, bring so much joy to so many around the country.”
The “iHeartRadio Presents The Pepsi HBCU Marching Band Experience” is part of the Pepsi brand’s ongoing effort to amplify and spotlight Black voices and Black excellence. Pepsi is also committing resources to support HBCU music programs – including refurbished equipment, scholarships, grants and more – to ensure a continuation of the traditions and opportunities are presented to current and future students at HBCUs. This commitment is only one part of PepsiCo’s larger action plan in expanding recruitment efforts with HBCUs and increasing the brand’s partnerships with diverse organizations at these prestigious institutions.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com
iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 160 markets nationwide; through its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; other digital products and newsletters; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio product, using data from its massive consumer base. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.