Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln sponsors new sports media learning lab at Andersen Hall

Monday, July 11, 2022 - 4:45pm

by Kaitlin Van Loon

The area that once housed Andersen Hall’s television studio has been converted into an open-concept sports media learning lab with the support of Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln. Starting this fall, the multimedia classroom will be a hub for all things Nebraska Sports and will be home to CoJMC’s Experience Lab Program UNLimited Sports.

The Pepsi Unlimited Sports Lab

The new space will have state-of-the-art computers, media production software and a set so students can go live and on-air during sports broadcasts.

Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln has supported University of Nebraska-Lincoln and their athletics programs for over 25 years. Their refreshments can be found at Memorial Stadium, Bob Devaney Sports Center, Pinnacle Bank Arena, Haymarket Park and all across UNL’s campus.

For Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln’s CEO Kirk Anderson, a partnership with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications just makes sense.

“One of the cornerstones of Pepsi marketing is sports, and supporting the students who report on Husker athletics allows us to take this partnership a step further and give students an opportunity to be part of the collaboration as well,” Anderson said.

Kevin Lambert, another Pepsi executive, knew the project was a good fit after he and Anderson met CoJMC Dean Shari Veil at last year’s Huskers vs. Oklahoma football game. Veil shared her idea of a learning lab dedicated to sports and that conversation led to the Pepsi Unlimited Sports Lab.

The most recent Pepsi-themed addition to the lab

“Dr. Veil was so passionate about this project and we caught onto that passion,” Anderson said “At Pepsi we often talk about how we want to support experiential learning at the University so that students can get a more applicable education, so this really was the perfect fit.”

Lambert is Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln’s General Manager for the Lincoln and Hastings franchises and also oversees the UNL operations. Other members of the team who helped on the project are VP of Sales & Marketing Jim Bauerly and Marketing Manager Olivia Munroe.

The Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln team is excited for students to have the unique opportunity of working with a company that is a national brand and is under local ownership as an independent franchise of Pepsi-Co.

The Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln team made sure the other brands they work with were somehow showcased in the lab. The brands featured are Aquafina, Gatorade, Starbucks, Mountain Dew, Lipton and of course, Pepsi. A 85” Samsung display will soon be added to this wall at the front of the lab along with six 55" displays on the back wall of the space.

“It’s unique that we’re able to take that massive brand and localize,” Anderson said. “We have brands that cover every preference in the community and we’re absolutely honored that CoJMC wants to be part of that.”

Lambert said he hopes students feel pride for the Lincoln community when they’re covering Husker sports on KRNU, producing a spot with UNLimited Sports or crafting some game day social media posts from the lab.

The Pepsi Unlimited Sports Lab is an open-concept classroom style with large windows so prospective students and Andersen Hall visitors can see what current students are working on.

“Having that umbrella of support from a national brand like Pepsi-Co gives the lab a sense of legitimacy that we want students to feel,” Lambert said. “When they walk into the lab to work on their media pieces, we hope they walk with a bit of Pepsi swagger.”