simon cowell getty images 'The X Factor': Simon Cowell joins the Pepsi generationNine years of drinking Coke on “American Idol” must have worn on Simon Cowell. He’s switching soft-drink brands when “The X Factor” hits the United States in the fall.

FOX announced Tuesday morning (Jan. 4) that Pepsi will be an official sponsor of the American “X Factor” next season. There had been speculation for several weeks that Pepsi would land the plum sponsorship, and now it’s official.

The agreement between brand and network means the Pepsi logo will have prominent placement on the air (just as Coke does on “Idol”) and also includes an off-air marketing agreement. Pepsi also promises an “immersive content experience online” related to the show.

“I am absolutely delighted Pepsi is going to be our partner for ‘The X Factor’ in America,” says Cowell, who created the show and will be its lead judge. “It feels like the perfect fit, and I love their ambition and excitement.”

The sponsorship deal could help differentiate “The X Factor” from “Idol,” at least in some small way. It’s also a win-win for FOX, which now gets to collect big money from both of the biggest soft-drink brands (Coke remains a top-line sponsor of “Idol”).

Posted by:Rick Porter