Coke Buys Bring College Dollars

College kids drink plenty of soda, and Boston is a big college town.

So perhaps it makes sense that Coca-Cola has become the first marketer to partner with UProm-ise, a Boston-based startup. The venture, founded by former agency executive Michael Bronner, is designed to help families save for college while assisting companies in building brand loyalty.

Though details of a letter of intent signed by Coca-Cola and UPromise were not disclosed, it is expected that Coke products will be sold through the UPromise program—either on- or offline—once it officially debuts in October.

A percentage of Coke sales made through the UPromise program will be placed into tax-deferred college savings accounts.

“We’re looking at a number of new, creative ways to utilize the Internet to deepen our relationships between brands and consumers,” said Jackson Cosey, vice president of e-business and e-venturesfor Coca-Cola’s North American operations in Atlanta.

Bronner originally formed UPromise after selling his majority stake in the relationship marketing firm Digitas in Boston to Hellman & Friedman, an investment company in San Francisco.

In July, Coca-Cola tapped Mc-Cann-Erickson in New York for a nationwide brand-building effort that will break about the time the site goes online in the fall.