Quaker continues NFL program as PepsiCo CEO urges change around abuse

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The NFL partnership helps drive Quaker's push for healthier lifestyles and physical activity, its comms head says
The NFL partnership helps drive Quaker's push for healthier lifestyles and physical activity, its comms head says
PepsiCo’s Quaker business is continuing its marketing partnership with the US National Football League (NFL) for a third year despite concerns raised by CEO Indra Nooyi over its handling of domestic violence cases.

The breakfast brand has partnered with the NFL’s ‘Fuel Up to Play 60’ in-school nutrition and activity campaign, as part of its ongoing partnership with the league. Quaker has launched its own interactive campaign ‘Make the Play’ under the tie-up, giving consumers the chance to win NFL gift cards or three hours of play with quarterback Andrew Luck.

The move comes amid some negativity towards the NFL over its alleged lenient handling and stance on domestic violence and child abuse reports involving some of its players.

PepsiCo CEO: NFL must seize the moment and change

Indra Nooyi said last week it would be critical the league stepped up on the issue.

“I urge them to seize the moment. How they handle these cases going forward can help shape how we, as a nation, as a society, and as individuals treat domestic violence and child abuse,”​ she said in a corporate statement.

She said it was apparent the NFL had started to treat these issues with the seriousness they deserve – hiring former FBI director Robert Mueller to conduct an investigation, along with a number of women with significant, relevant expertise to help shape the league’s domestic violence policies.

Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, addressed members of the press
Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, addressed members of the press

Speaking at a New York press conference over the weekend, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he had “got it wrong”​ in the handling of some cases but that he would now get it right and do whatever was necessary to compensate.

BakeryandSnacks.com is awaiting a full statement from Quaker as to why the partnership with the NFL has continued amid such concerns. 

Quaker: It’s about healthy messaging

Jody Menaker, communications director for Quaker Foods North America, did tell us the partnership was valuable from a messaging standpoint for the Quaker brand.

Quaker had long worked to educate families on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, she said, and partnerships offering physical activity solutions helped continue that mission.

It was the third year in a row Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts quarterback, had teamed up with Quaker.

“As a professional athlete that understands the importance of eating right and physical fitness, Andrew Luck is the perfect partner to help us continue spreading the word about the benefits of adopting healthy habits early in life,”​ Menaker said.

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