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PepsiCo Launches Its Historically Better Tour: Powered by Pepsi Stronger Together and Doritos® SOLID BLACK to Celebrate the Best of HBCU Culture and Talent



The Multi-Campus Tour Kicks Off at the National Battle of The Bands in Houston, Texas, Celebrates Black Excellence and Inspires the Next Generation of Black Leaders

PURCHASE, N.Y. /PRNewswire/ — Music, sports, community, food, and culture are the hallmarks of HBCUs and this year, PepsiCo is bringing its Historically Better platform back to celebrate, elevate, and engage students as they get ready for a new year.

Kicking off at the start of HBCU football season at the National Battle of the Bands, PepsiCo launches Historically Better: Powered by Pepsi Stronger Together and Doritos SOLID BLACK, a multi-campus tour to empower and celebrate multi-generational Black changemakers.

Kicking off at the start of HBCU football season at the National Battle of the Bands, Historically Better: Powered by Pepsi Stronger Together and Doritos SOLID BLACK is a multi-campus tour that empowers and celebrates multi-generational Black changemakers. The nearly four-month tour will hit a variety of stops and culminate at the SWAC Championship game.

“With Historically Better, our goal is to utilize the power of PepsiCo’s diverse brand portfolio to address inequity and level the playing field for HBCU students with an end-to-end experience that inspires them by celebrating Black excellence in all its forms,” said Derek Lewis, PepsiCo, President, Multicultural. “Our breadth of programming demonstrates our commitment to HBCUs across our brands and is designed to benefit students, alumni, and fans alike. We’re creating access to career opportunities, spotlighting cultural changemakers and entrepreneurs, and engaging with HBCU students at every step.”

The program complements PepsiCo’s larger Racial Equality Journey commitments, a five-year, more than $400 million investment to increase Black representation at PepsiCo, support and elevate Black businesses and voices, and economic opportunity in Black communities. Programming will come to life across our REJ three pillars of people, business, and community, including:

  • People – On-Campus Recruitment at HBCUs:
    • Creating an opportunity for HBCU talent who are the next generation of Black corporate leaders, from interns to executives, to engage with PepsiCo through on campus recruitment events. These efforts aim to support PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey goal to increase Black managerial representation to 10% by 2025.
  • Business – Elevating Black Voices and Businesses with Doritos SOLID BLACK and Pepsi Dig In:
    • Celebrating the connection between music, food, and the community, Doritos SOLID BLACK will highlight culture-driving Black Changemakers and HBCU alumni through music-led consumer activations, featuring Doritos SOLID BLACK Changemaker DJ Mr. Rogers.
    • Pepsi Dig In will continue its rallying call for people to double down on supporting Black-owned restaurants, as well as its invitation for Black restaurateurs to tap into a variety of resources, mentorship and training made possible by PepsiCo. Students are invited to support Black-owned restaurants at HBCU tailgates across the country by enjoying their delicious food and refreshing beverages, while also nominating them for Pepsi Dig In’s Black Restaurants Deliver program — a free 8-week consulting program designed to work directly with Black-owned restaurants by providing the know-how and financial resources to level-up their digital and delivery presence.
  • Community – Inspiring the Next Generation of HBCU Students:
    • Pepsi Stronger Together is bringing students from Ohio’s Saint Martin de Porres High School marching band to the largest stage of HBCU culture: the National Battle of the Bands on August 27th. By funding their participation, Pepsi Stronger Together is investing in the Cleveland-based students to help them represent the only non-local high school participating in the Step and Stroll event and providing the youth access and exposure to HBCU educators and students.
    • Throughout the tour, Pepsi Stronger Together and Doritos SOLID BLACK will spotlight the HBCU campus DJs, who will receive on-site support and coaching from celebrity DJs, including DJ Mr. Rogers, as well as provide financial support to help them pursue their dreams in the entertainment industry while they are in school.

Fans can follow @pepsistrongertogether #HistoricallyBetter for more information on the Historically Better tour and recruitment efforts as updates are released closer to event dates.

About Pepsi Stronger Together
Pepsi Stronger Together (PST) is a national initiative to empower and engage communities around the country by providing tailored programming and resources that bring people together. It was conceived with the idea that now, more than ever, we must foster a sense of connection and belonging, starting by investing locally. Launched in May of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – PST engaged its network of partners in the South to shine a spotlight on essential front-line workers in a variety of industries. Since then, PST has expanded its reach and impact through a variety of partnerships and initiatives, including partnerships with NBA teams, community leaders, and environmental and charitable organizations.   

Driven by the PepsiCo positive (pep+) vision to catalyze positive change for people and the planet, Pepsi Stronger Together is continually evolving to respond to the cultural moment and meet the needs of communities across the United States. Stay up to date and learn how to engage at  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @pepsistrongertogether. 


About Doritos
Doritos believes there’s boldness in everyone. We champion those who are true to themselves, who live life fully engaged and take bold action by stepping outside of their comfort zone and pushing the limits. Doritos is one of many Frito-Lay North America brands – the $19 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website,, and on Twitter

About PepsiCo
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 $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people. For more information, visit

SOURCE PepsiCo Beverages North America

Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.





Three will compete, but only one will shake their way to victory scoring Super Bowl LVII tickets and the private luxury transport of a lifetime

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — To kick off the 2022 NFL season, Smirnoff issued a call to football fans everywhere: serve up the best game day vibes and Smirnoff cocktails for a chance to be the brand’s first ever Cocktail Coordinator. Many answered the call, but only three remain. And the journey isn’t over just yet.

Returning as the official vodka sponsor of the NFL this season, Smirnoff has been recruiting for the Cocktail Coordinator all season long. Now it all comes down to this, one Final Interview to determine the winner of the Best Job in America and the private luxury transport of a lifetime to Super Bowl LVII.

It all comes down to the Final Interview, where one deserving winner will land the Best Job in America as the first-ever Smirnoff Cocktail Coordinator and board a private luxury transport bound for Super Bowl LVII as the brand’s guest of honor. But before the winner is revealed, the Official Vodka Sponsor of the NFL is giving fans across the country a peek into the action as the three finalists go head-to-head to show off their unrivaled passion for the game, hosting, and ultimately, their cocktail skills), proving they have what it takes to Be the Cocktail Coordinator.

“We’ve been searching for someone with heart for the game, a spirit for entertaining and unrivaled cocktail-making skills to become our first-ever Cocktail Coordinator,” said Jennifer Holiday Hudson, North America brand leader, Smirnoff. “At the end of the day, it’s all about finding that person who can take the game day experience to the next level. Fortunately, we have three very strong candidates ready for the challenge. Now it’s game time.”

 Meet the finalists:

  • A high energy hostess with the mostest, Tania Ortega (Austin, Texas) was born ready for this moment.
  • With a passion for the game, India Stokes (Dallas, Texas) has what it takes to shine on gameday.
  • Easy, but elevated is the name of his game – Conner Sheets (Denver, Colorado) is all about turning simple cocktails into delicious masterpieces.

On Jan. 29, the finalists will touch down in the Lone Star state where they will compete in a series of challenges testing their football knowledge, game day entertaining skills, and of course, their go-to cocktail playbook. Smirnoff brand partner and NFL commentator, Kay Adams alongside professional mixologist and founder of Cocktail AcademyMatt Landes will help officiate and ultimately judge the competition.

“We’ve been searching this entire season for that special someone who can combine the perfect mix of good food, drinks, and people to make game day a memorable experience and fill the Smirnoff Cocktail Coordinator position,” said Kay Adams. “The time has come to see who has what it takes to land the Best Job in America.”

The Cocktail Coordinator travels in style. Courtesy of Smirnoff, the winner will board a private luxury transport for Arizona where they will be greeted by special surprises on board and ultimately be Smirnoff’s guest of honor at the biggest game of the season – Super Bowl LVII.


Ahead of the Final Interview, Smirnoff will take out full-page ads in the finalists’ markets of Dallas, Austin and Denver, and plaster their faces on billboards and everywhere in between – to encourage all football fans to rally behind the competition. For the city of the first-ever Cocktail Coordinator, Smirnoff will provide $25 rideshare credits on Super Bowl Sunday for fans to get home safely after the final whistle blows following The Big Game. In its second year as the Official Vodka Sponsor of the NFL, Smirnoff will be in on all the action throughout Super Bowl Week:

  • First up, Smirnoff is celebrating the second annual GLAAD “Night Of Pride”, featuring discussions on advancing LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports.
  • Ahead of The Big Game, Smirnoff will honor former players at the NFL Legends Alumni Roast & Toast, where brand partner Vernon Davis will serve as co-host.
  • Finally, Smirnoff will introduce its first-ever Cocktail Coordinator to the world on February 12 for Super Bowl LVII.

Tune into the Cocktail Coordinator Final Interview by following @Smirnoff on Instagram and @SmirnoffUS on Twitter. And no matter if you celebrate Super Bowl LVII with the signature Cosmo Catch or another Smirnoff cocktail of your choosing, please remember to always drink responsibly.


NO PURCHASE OF ALCOHOL OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT NECESSARY. U.S. only, 21+. Void where prohibited. Contest Entry Period: 9/7/2022 @ 12:00 a.m. ET – 10/31/22 @ 11:59:59 p.m. ET. To enter: Scan QR Code or access website directly at After age verification, complete entry form and submit a video (30-60 seconds) telling and showing us why you should be the Smirnoff “Cocktail Coordinator.” COCKTAIL COORDINATOR IS AN HONORIFIC TITLE AND DIAGEO WILL NOT MAKE AN OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT TO CONTEST GRAND PRIZE WINNER. Video should address your passion for football, hosting parties and making cocktails. (Professional bartenders/alcohol beverage retail license-holders NOT eligible). Video must be truthful, original and cannot violate third party rights. DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL IN VIDEO. Videos judged based on expression of passion for and knowledge of football/hosting/cocktail-making as well as alignment with the spirit and values of the SMIRNOFF brand. By entering, you assign all right, title and interest in video to Sponsor. Limit 1 entry per person. Finalist Prize: on 1/29/23 Finalists will compete in Final Round by throwing “home-gating” party in local market to determine Grand Prize Winner. Finalists will be judged in Final Round based on live interview in addition to video. Grand Prize is a trip to Super Bowl® LVII in Glendale, AZ on 2/12/23. Prize forfeited if Finalist or Grand Prize winner not available on date of corresponding event/activity. Guests of Grand Prize winner must be 21+. ALCOHOL IS NOT PART OF ANY PRIZE. See Official Rules at website for full details. Sponsor: Diageo Americas, Inc., New York, NY.

Please Drink Responsibly.

The Smirnoff Co., New York, NY.

© 2022 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. Contest not sponsored or offered by the National Football League.




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Mars Is Back In The Game: M&M’S® Announces A Legendary Return To Super Bowl LVII



New M&M’S campaign inspires moments of everyday happiness after a transformative year for the brand, using the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong.

NEWARK, N.J. /PRNewswire/ — After a monumental year, M&M’S®, proudly part of Mars, has announced that the brand is kicking off 2023 with a return to Super Bowl.

Mars has been a part of Super Bowl’s showstopping advertising lineup for more than a decade collectively across the portfolio of iconic brands.

M&M’S®, proudly part of Mars, announces a legendary return for Super Bowl LVII

Mars has a history of celebrated ad campaigns debuting around Super Bowl, one of the biggest consumer stages in the world. Most recently, the 2021, M&M’S “Come Together” spot was ranked #4 on USA Today’s Ad Meter, and in 2020, the SNICKERS® “You’re Not You” 2010 spot, was ranked as the #1 best Super Bowl commercial over the last twenty-five years by USA Today.

“Mars has delivered some of the most buzz-worthy Super Bowl moments over the years, and we’re inspired by the M&M’S brand being back in the mix in a new way for 2023,” said Gabrielle Wesley, Chief Marketing Officer, Mars Wrigley North America. “M&M’S brings people together through the power of fun to foster belonging, with universal humor that entertains fans in a way only a globally loved and legendary brand like M&M’S can. The latest campaign extends our purposeful work over the last year but is rooted in a new creative territory, and we can’t wait for our fans to see what’s about to unfold.”

The Super Bowl LVII spot continues the momentum of a transformative year for M&M’S, with a refreshed brand purpose and visual identity rooted in purpose, forming the first ever M&M’S Advisory Board, partnering with trailblazing artists and entertainers on custom collaborations, and of course, evolving the characters and introducing the first new character in over ten years, Purple – all of which ultimately helped cement the M&M’S brand on the list of Gen Z’s favorite brands for 2022.(1)

The new 30-second spot, produced by BBDO New York, will air during the third commercial break in the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII, which will be broadcast on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. It will be just one part of an extensive, immersive campaign throughout the month surrounding Super Bowl.


Mars is also further contributing to Super Bowl Sunday’s festivities through the PEDIGREE® brand, the number one brand of dog food and treats in the world, and the TEMPTATIONS™ brand, both of which are proudly part of the Mars family. The PEDIGREE brand will continue its long-standing tradition of sponsoring the adorable Puppy Bowl, where the TEMPTATIONS Kitty Sky Box will be featured throughout the game so fans can feel as if they’re in the center of all the action. Puppy Bowl XVII will air before the game on the Discovery Channel at 2pm ET/11 am PT.   

For more information and updates on this upcoming Super Bowl ad, fans can visit M&M’S at To be among the first to know about future brand news, sign up for the M&M’S newsletter here.

Mars, Incorporated is driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. As a global, family-owned business, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving to make a positive impact on the world. Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of quality confectionery, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 140,000+ dedicated Associates. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including Ben’s Original™, CESAR®, Cocoavia®, DOVE®, EXTRA®, KIND®, M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®. We are creating a better world for pets through our global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services – including AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus and VCA™ – using cutting edge technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing. For more information about Mars, please visit Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

(1) Morning Consult’s list of Gen Z’s Favorite Brands;

SOURCE Mars, Incorporated

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Shawne Merriman’s Lights Out Xtreme Fighting and Fubo Sports Announce LXF 8 Event

Former All-Pro NFL Linebacker Shawne Merriman teams up with Fubo Sports, FuboTV’s 24/7 sports network, to stream the first international Lights Out Xtreme Fighting event



Former All-Pro NFL Linebacker Shawne Merriman teams up with Fubo Sports, FuboTV’s 24/7 sports network, to stream the first international Lights Out Xtreme Fighting event

RIVERSIDE, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — Lights Out Xtreme Fighting (LXF) founder Shawne Merriman and Fubo Sports, the live, free-to-consumer TV network from FuboTV Inc. (NYSE: FUBO), the leading sports-first live TV streaming platform, announced today the first internationally streamed Lights Out Xtreme Fighting event will take place January 14, 2023 at Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, CA. Fubo Sports will exclusively stream the event in the U.S. and Canada. FuboTV will make the event available as VOD in Spain and Fubo subsidiary Molotov will make the event available as VOD in France.

Shawne Merriman, founder of Lights Out Xtreme Fighting.

Shawne Merriman has recently taken over full ownership of LXF. Merriman’s main goal with this new era of LXF is to help former athletes from other sports transition into MMA.

“I am incredibly proud of this program and beyond excited to provide these athletes with a platform to showcase their physical skills and artistry,” says Merriman. “This is a sport that has been a passion of mine for over seventeen years. As a former NFL player, I know the value of being seen by millions of viewers around the world. My goal is to use the “Lights Out” brand I created in my NFL career to help other athletes get the visibility they deserve.”

The January 14th event will begin a year-long partnership between LXF and Fubo Sports that will span throughout 2023.

“Shawne Merriman’s Lights Out Xtreme Fighting continues to be a fan-favorite among our audience, who can’t get enough MMA content,” said Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Networks and originals, FuboTV. “We’re anticipating bringing LXF back to Fubo in a big way by making the live high-energy event available to stream in more places than ever before. Shawne’s enthusiasm and passion are unmatched, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with him on LXF 8.”

The event preliminaries will stream live at 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. PST and the main event will stream live at 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST. Catch all of the action from the LXF 8 event on Fubo Sports’ Instagram, Twitter and YouTube plus on Shawne Merriman’s social channels. Fans can also stream LXF 8 on Fubo Sports for free on LG Channels, Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Vizio WatchFree+, Tubi, Plex and XUMO or as part of FuboTV’s subscription packages featuring 125+ leading sports, news and entertainment channels. Additionally, the preliminaries and main card will be available in Spanish on Fubo Latino Network. 


About Lights Out Xtreme Fighting

Founded by former all-pro NFL linebacker, Shawne Merriman, Lights Out Xtreme Fighting (LXF) produces premier MMA events focused on developing the next great star.

About Fubo Sports

Available on 75 million devices, Fubo Sports is the live, free-to-consumer TV network featuring sports stories on and off the field. Launched by live TV streaming platform FuboTV (NYSE: FUBO) in September 2019, Fubo Sports airs live sports, award-winning original programming featuring athletes including Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Scandrick, R.J. Hampton, Terrell Owens and T.J. Houshmandzadeh and partner content from Lights Out Xtreme Fighting, Stadium, USA TODAY, Flex Fight, World Poker Tour and BeIN Sports Xtra, among others. 

Stream for free on LG Channels, Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Vizio WatchFree+, Tubi, Plex, XUMO and anywhere podcasts are found. Fubo Sports is also available as part of FuboTV’s subscription packages featuring 125+ leading sports, news and entertainment channels. To watch even more original programming, follow Fubo Sports on InstagramTikTokTwitchTwitter and YouTube


SOURCE Lights Out Xtreme Fighting

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