afaqs! news bureau
Company Briefs

Coca-Cola extends sponsorship of Olympic Games through 2020

The one partnership that has sustained the modern Olympic Movement more than any other has been further extended. In a ceremony with the Olympic Family at the Great Wall of China, the Coca-Cola Company and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the renewal of their historic partnership for an unprecedented 12 years.

This latest renewal of the most-enduring partnership in the history of the Olympic Games begins in 2009 and lengthens the role of Coca-Cola as Official Soft Drink of the Olympic Games through 2020.

The deal also effectively extends the partnership of Coca-Cola and the Olympic Movement – a relationship that began in 1928 – to 92 years without interruption.

Making the announcement at the Great Wall were Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, and E. Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

Also on hand, as representatives of Olympic champions and Olympic Games hopefuls around the world, were Jean-Claude Killy, three-time Olympic Games gold medalist from France and member of the IOC; and young Chinese diver Wu Min Xia, who captured a gold medal and a silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

The announcement ceremony and subsequent dinner at the Great Wall also capped a special congress of Coca-Cola bottling partners from around the world. All attendees were invited to sign their names, as witnesses, to a ceremonial document signifying the renewed partnership of Coca-Cola and the IOC.

The agreement was celebrated as China marks three years to go until the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In addition to Jacques Rogge and other high-ranking officials of the IOC, ceremony guests included leadership from both the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad and the upcoming Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, which take place February 10-26 in Italy.

“The contribution of Coca-Cola to the Olympic Movement has always been the model of a true partnership,” said Rogge. “The Olympic Games would not be where they are today, and so many athletes over the years could not have competed in the Games, without the extensive corporate support pioneered by Coca-Cola as our longest continuous sponsor.”

“Because the Olympic Family and Coca-Cola share the values of Olympism at their deepest level, this is a natural partnership that we hold most dearly,” Rogge said.

Against the unique backdrop of the Great Wall, Mr. Isdell, the Coca-Cola chairman, echoed Jacques Rogge’s sentiments, emphasizing a new atmosphere of Olympic spirit at the world’s leading beverage company.

“The privilege of being associated with the Olympic Movement for nearly a century is reflected in this landmark agreement,” said Mr. Isdell. “Our investment in the future of the Olympic Games underscores our faith in the Games and how they continue to make our world a little bit better.

“This long-term commitment comes at a time when those of us throughout the Coca-Cola system are rededicating ourselves to the Olympic spirit,” Mr. Isdell stated. “It’s important we share those values and live Olympic in our everyday lives, not just celebrate the Olympic ideal every two or four years.”

As the longest-continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement, The Coca-Cola Company has helped fulfill the Olympic dreams of thousands of athletes worldwide, through its involvement since 1928 with the Olympic Games. The Company works closely with National Olympic Committees around the world to assist athletes in training, and over 90 percent of the Coca-Cola system's sponsorship support of the Olympic Games goes to help athletes train and compete, as well as to help stage the Games.

The commitment includes cash and in-kind services from The Coca-Cola Company in support of athletes and teams in nearly 200 countries. In return, the Company maintains exclusive marketing rights in the nonalcoholic beverages category and use of the Olympic symbols and mascots in advertising and promotional activity.

With the new, 12-year pact announced today, Coca-Cola support of the Olympic Movement extends through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the Olympic Games of 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most-valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit the Web site www.coca-cola.com.