Sad news Idol fans. Variety is reporting that Coca-Cola has ended it’s sponsorship deal with American Idol. What will the show become without those ubiquitous red cups that have festooned the judges panel year after year? Or the end of the Red Room–the green room where contestants hung out and were interviewed between performances!
After more than a decade as one of the top sponsors of “Idol,” Coca-Cola is cutting ties to the program, the company said in a statement. Coca-Cola will instead work with Fox in other ways. “After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point,” the Atlanta beverage company responded when asked why it was leaving the show.
Variety has made note of how Madison Avenue’s support of the struggling Idol has declined over the years:
In 2012, advertisers spent nearly $781.9 million on the show, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending. In 2014, they committed $394.7 million – representing a drop of 49.5% over just three seasons. Coca-Cola spent about $49.1 million on “Idol” in 2012, Kantar said. In 2014, it spent about $16.3 million. Ford Motor, another longtime “Idol” advertiser, spent $76.3 million in 2012, but $27.3 million in 2014.
Speaking of the Ford motor company, a company spokesperson tells Variety that they intend to “continue to support some of the biggest shows on the network [in 2015], which includes American Idol.” At least the winner and runner-up will still get their free cars. That is…if the prize remains in the budget.
Let us take a moment, Idol fans, to mourn the end of an era.