BOISE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coca-Cola Company is helping to refresh thousands of athletes, families and fans at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games through a wide variety of programs that celebrate the accomplishments of the more than 2,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities gathering here for the Opening Ceremony tomorrow.
As part of its global sponsorship, Coca-Cola is providing financial support to the local organizing committee, donating beverages, creating marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the World Winter Games and has brought more than 20 employees of the Company and its bottling partner, Coca-Cola Enterprises, to serve as volunteers at events. The employees were chosen through a national competition and selected on the basis of their ongoing involvement with community organizations. The associates will spend one week on site during the World Winter Games helping to organize sport activities, providing beverages and helping serve meals to athletes.
“The values of Special Olympics of understanding, acceptance and inclusion are shared by Coca-Cola,” said Muhtar Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. “Giving our associates the opportunity to connect directly with Special Olympics athletes and their families brings those values to life and supports the mission in a meaningful way.”
Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, The Coca-Cola Company has been a proud global sponsor, providing monetary and in-kind contributions, hands-on volunteer assistance, equipment, uniforms, and other materials and services for Special Olympics competitions and community activities around the world.
In addition to its global sponsorship, Coca-Cola also will donate $10,000 to the Games Organizing Committee for the World Winter Games. The funds, raised through a donation of a portion of Coca-Cola sales, will be presented by Mr. Kent in a ceremony at the “Special Olympics Sports Experience” on Sunday, February 8.
“The Coca-Cola Company has been a strong supporter of Special Olympics since day one,” said Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics. “Coca-Cola’s support over the years – from refreshing our athletes and their families during competition, conducting marketing initiatives to raise the profile of our movement and to now creating employee programs to bring more people into the Special Olympics family — has helped us foster a greater acceptance and understanding of those with intellectual disabilities. This is the true heart of our mission and an example of the deep partnership we have with Coca-Cola.”
For this year’s event, Coca-Cola and its local bottling partner Swire Coca-Cola USA, helped to raise awareness for the World Winter Games through advertising and promotions including:
* At participating retailers throughout the Boise area, in-store signage and specially marked Coca-Cola 12 Oz Fridge Packs included a message promoting the Special Olympics World Winter Games. For every 12 Oz pack sold, Coca-Cola donated 10 cents, raising $10,000 to support the staging of the events in Boise.
* At participating convenience stores, Coca-Cola gave a free limited edition 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games “Fan Pin” to anyone purchasing three 20 oz. Coca-Cola products.
* Throughout the area, Coca-Cola delivery trucks featured graphics that encouraged people to “Be a Fan of Joy” and promoted the Special Olympics World Winter Games.
* Coca-Cola also created awareness by using radio advertising to promote the Games.
* At the World Winter Games, Coca-Cola is also participating in the “Sports Experience” where visitors can interact with Special Olympics athletes and participate in several sports with them such as basketball, table tennis or floor hockey.
* The Coca-Cola Polar Bear, from the well-known animated holiday television commercials, will be at the Sports Experience entertaining guests and posing for photographs.
In May 2008, Coca-Cola extended its top-level, worldwide sponsorship of Special Olympics to cover the calendar years 2008 through 2011 – including support for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games and the 2011 World Summer Games. The sponsorship consists of cash, in-kind products and services, technical support and marketing and fund-raising support for Special Olympics. The Coca-Cola Company supports the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Special Olympics World Games.
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater, POWERade®, Minute Maid® and Georgia® Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition to nearly 3 million adults and children with intellectual disabilities across 165 countries. The Special Olympics Movement offers one of the world’s greatest platforms for acceptance and inclusion for all people–regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or cultural differences. Find out how you can become involved at www.specialolympics.org.