Boycott Watch  
October 23, 2012
Pepsi - The Official Sponsor of Hamas Terrorist Football (Soccer)
Summary: Do you stand with the sponsors of sporting events of terrorists?
    Pepsi has once again become the center of a controversy in Middle East politics. The story begins in 1966 when Coca-Cola Company was placed on the official Arab blacklist for opening a bottling plant in Israel. As a result, Pepsi became the dominant soft-drink vendor in the Arab world which resulted in a boycott of Pepsi products globally, especially in the United States.

    The Pepsi boycott grew exponentially in June of 1967 when Israel was attacked by Arab nations in an attempt to completely destroy Israel, a war in which Israel dealt a major blow to the Arab world in what became known as the Six Day War. Although the Arab leaders claimed victory to their own constituents at the time, it became known in Arabic as "An-Naksah", or "The Setback". In the US, Pepsi lost too.

    "Boycott Pepsi" bumper stickers could be seen throughout the 1970's and into the early 1980's, and eventually the soft-drink boycott war subsided when Pepsi products became available in Israel. Now that Pepsi is available in Israel, it has come under attack by Muslims who now claim the name PEPSI Stands for "Pay Every Pence to Save Israel" as evidenced by this video from

    Boycott Watch has recently received several emails from people who are upset, not that Pepsi is sold in the Arab world, but specifically because Pepsi is now seen as sponsoring soccer (football) games in Gaza, where Hamas is the elected government. Hamas, as you may recall, has been designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization . Boycott Watch wants to know why a US company is doing business with known terrorists and will be forwarding this report to appropriate US agencies, asking them that very question.

    Americans have been outraged when discovering Americans companies are conduction business in Iran which is also on the US list of states sponsoring terrorism, demanding an end to the practice.

    Just the same, many Americans are now upset to discover a US company is sponsoring sporting events of terrorist regimes. As you can see on these thumbnail photos from the Pal Times, Pepsi is clearly a major sponsor of the event in which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh officially opened.

Pepsi sponsoring Hamas sports   Pepsi sponsoring Hamas sports   Pepsi sponsoring Hamas sports
Left, Hamas Prime Minister with a team in official Pepsi sponsorship jerseys. Notice the giant inflatable Pepsi can in the background. Center, Custom signage showing Pepsi as the event sponsor. Right, large inflatable in front of a mural of the Hamas Prime Minister. (Click to enlarge each)
Pepsi sponsoring Hamas sports   Pepsi sponsoring Hamas sports   Pepsi sponsoring Hamas sports
Left, Hamas Prime Minister practicing with players wearing the Pepsi logo on the opposing teams colors. Notice the official Pepsi sidelines graphics. Center, the Qatar and Hamas delegation with the official Hamas logo depicting Israel removed and replaced by Hamas. Right, official Hamas dedication ceremony for the event.

    Boycott Watch contacted Pepsi and asked: "Why is Pepsi sponsoring sporting events for groups listed as terrorists by the US State Department?" Pepsi responded with "Pepsi does not sponsor any football teams in Gaza. In this case, the local independent bottler producing Pepsi arranged for promotional activities to take place at a football event involving 30 local community teams. Football is a global marketing platform for Pepsi and the brand is associated with the sport around the world."

    Boycott Watch points out the fact that the response from Pepsi lied in their response. This was not a "football event involving 30 local community teams" as Pepsi claimed. It was in fact a game against the team from Qatar and diplomats from Qatar were present. It was an international event featuring government officials and the photos in the reports prove that. The Pepsi statement also contains double-talk by first saying "Pepsi does not sponsor any football teams in Gaza" then "Pepsi and the brand is associated with the sport around the world."

    In response, Boycott Watch asked: "The name on the event, including signage and large inflatables, is Pepsi, not the name of any bottling company. How do you explain that?" Pepsi responded: "As I mentioned, the Pepsi brand is associated with the sport of football (soccer) around the world. In this case, the local bottler arranged for promotional activities for the brand to take place at a soccer competition in the community."

    Still, Boycott Watch was a little confused by the answer from Pepsi because the signage and inflatables are items that would have been custom made for such large stadium events. Let's face it. You see the exact same banners at sporting events, so there is little doubt the signage was ordered directly from Pepsi and not made by the local bottling company. Boycott Watch asked Pepsi "If Pepsi had no intent to be the actual sponsor, why did the local bottler have such a large supply of Pepsi stadium graphics and inflatables?" Pepsi had no answer but we pressed on.

    Boycott Watch was beyond fair. We waited nearly six days for Pepsi to answer our three questions via email, so Pepsi had plenty of time to think about their answers. That was far beyond the time any company gets to reply to questions. Even still, we decided to give Pepsi yet another chance at answering the question about the supply of inflatables and stadium graphics, as that is key to understanding if Pepsi was in fact the event sponsor or not.

    In the end, Pepsi had no answer to the questions about why giant inflatables made for stadiums and stadium-type signage were provided to promote events of a US recognized terrorist organization. When we asked Pepsi about this one final time, the response was "I keep coming back to the points in my original reply, so I'm ok with you going with that."

    "Pepsi clearly lied about the events being local only" said Fred Taub, President of Boycott Watch and author of the book Boycotting Peace. "As long as Pepsi is "OK" with us "going with that," Pepsi clearly has no qualms with Boycott Watch stating Pepsi is in fact sponsoring sporting events ran by a US recognized terrorist organization as evidenced by the Pepsi-supplied promotional materials in that sponsorship. The promotional items sent to Hamas in Gaza are not basic advertising signage. It is all made specifically made for large stadium events."

    Boycott Watch concludes, therefore, that Pepsi is in fact the sponsor of Hamas sports.

E-Mail This Page to a Friend
Enter the recipient's e-mail address:

(Click here to return to top of page)
 ©2003-2012 Boycott Watch