Sprite® and LeBron James Pump New Life into Neighborhood Basketball Courts around the Country

Sprite Spark Parks Project to Invest $2 Million to Construct, Refurbish and Refresh More Than 150 Neighborhood Parks, Athletic Fields, Playgrounds and Basketball Courts in 2011

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–From alley-oops to hula hoops, jump shots to jump ropes, nothing beats the sight of young people at play. Through the Sprite Spark Parks Project, people across the U.S. will have an opportunity play a major role in making sure their neighborhoods have fun, clean and safe places to play for years to come. In partnership with Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Sprite is launching the first phase of the Sprite Spark Parks Project by empowering teens to lead the revitalization of their local basketball courts.

Through this initiative, people will be the driving force in rallying support for their community and breathing new life into the play spaces that are so important to teens and families. There are several simple ways for people to participate, including:

  • Nominating and voting for the refurbishment of their favorite local basketball court
  • Collecting green tabs found on Sprite and Sprite Zero™ cans to raise funds to help refresh communities and active spaces
  • Entering an online sweepstakes for a chance to win a new playground or athletic field for their local school

Sprite will invest approximately $2 million into building or revamping more than 150 basketball courts, community spaces, playgrounds and athletic fields in at least 40 American cities throughout 2011. As a result, an estimated one million young people will have greater access to recreational spaces where they can be inspired to be active and creative.

“The Sprite Spark Parks Project is a multi-year commitment to build and restore play environments where teens, families and neighbors can get outside and be active,” said Caren Pasquale Seckler, Vice President, Flavor Brands Portfolio, Coca-Cola North America. “Our goal is to improve communities in inspired ways and we’re relying on people around the country to help us identify the places where we can make the biggest impact. As more people get involved, the project will become more powerful.”

Sprite Spark Parks: Basketball Courts

The program tips off with a chance for people to nominate their local basketball court for renovation. Sprite and James will encourage people to log on to www.Facebook.com/Sprite between February 18 and April 8 to designate a court in their area for consideration. Participants also will be able to post photos or write a short message detailing why their court deserves to be revamped.

Approximately 70 finalists will be chosen – based on support generated during the nomination phase – to be part of a nationwide fan vote to select the courts that will be refreshed. As part of the program, at least 21 courts will receive funding in 2011 for items such as new rims, backboards, blacktop surfaces and art installations created by local artists to inspire play. Seven courts – with one winner coming from seven different regions across the country – will be awarded a $35,000 grant. An additional 14 locations will receive $20,000 each.

“Rebuilding playgrounds, gymnasiums and places for young people to play is one of my biggest priorities,” said James. “Sprite Spark Parks offers young people an opportunity to make a difference in their community with their local courts where future generations of basketball stars can develop their skills.”

Sprite Spark Parks will be supported with a TV spot starring James, which debuts during the NBA All-Star 2011, February 19 to 20, as well as digital and mobile ads encouraging people to support their local court. In addition, Sprite will have a comprehensive social media campaign which includes support from James. Fans also can text the word “SPARK” to 777483 to receive a message from James about the program.

Sprite Spark Parks: Neighborhood Parks and Community Spaces

Beginning in April, families can start collecting green tabs found on specially marked cans of Sprite and Sprite Zero and send them to Sprite to contribute to the building and refreshing homes and active spaces for Habitat for Humanity. For every tab received, Sprite will donate 10 cents to the organization, with a minimum donation of $250,000 but widespread consumer participation could drive the donation much higher. Additional local programming with radio stations will focus on building or refreshing local parks.

Sprite Spark Parks: School Playgrounds and Athletic Fields

In mid-summer, Sprite will give families a chance to win a refurbished playground or athletic field for their local school. People can enter their local schools by submitting the My Coke Rewards codes found on Sprite and Sprite Zero Fridge Pack™ and 2-liter products. In all, Sprite wants to give young people a chance be physically active and inspire their imagination while at school.

2012 and Beyond

After constructing, refurbishing and refreshing more than 150 basketball courts, neighborhood parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in 2011, the Sprite Spark Parks Project will turn its attention to other play spaces that are important to teens beginning in 2012.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. The Company’s portfolio includes 14 billion dollar brands, including Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, as well as Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. 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 1.7 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 website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.