ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Everything is bigger in Texas, so it’s only appropriate The Coca-Cola Company has planned epic events to refresh fans all weekend long at the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four. Through sports, music and entertainment, Coca-Cola is creating larger-than-life experiences for fans of all ages at college basketball’s biggest celebration.
As the longest-standing Corporate Champion of the NCAA, The Coca-Cola Company is creating enjoyable experiences for passionate basketball fans and players alike this weekend. Starting with a huge 350-by-600-foot banner on the W Dallas Victory hotel, Coca-Cola is welcoming the tournament and fans to the host city as the official fan refreshment of the NCAA.
“We are committed to celebrating the athletes, their competitive spirit, and refreshing fans with our delicious brands,” said Sharon Byers, senior vice president, sports, entertainment and community marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “Whether it’s sports, music or entertainment, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.”
This year in the weeks leading up to the tournament, Coke Zero asked “Are you a real fan? #proveit.” The most extreme fans have been featured in the Coke Zero Social Arena, an exclusive digital hub on the NCAA® March Madness Live™ app, which is available for Android®, iOS®and Windows® devices at www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live. The call to action continues throughout the Final Four weekend.
The Company will have a variety of fan-friendly experiences in the host city of Dallas:
Coca-Cola NCAA® Youth Clinics (April 5) – The NCAA Youth Clinics are a community outreach program that connects area youth with selected championships. On Saturday, April 5, youth ages 8 – 14 and their families will receive basketball clinic instruction from NCAA coaches and student-athletes while also getting tips on how to live active and healthy lifestyles. During the clinics, parents have the opportunity to participate in an educational session on collegiate athletic recruitment and eligibility, the importance of physical fitness and sports injury prevention. The youth clinics will take place at Elzie Odom Athletic Center in Arlington, University Recreation Center (Texas Christian) in Fort Worth and Duncanville High School in Duncanville. Each event is free, but requires pre-registration at www.ncaa.com/final-four.
The Coke Zero™ Countdown Concert (April 5) – As part of 2014 March Madness Music Festival® produced by Turner Live Events and the NCAA, The Coke Zero Countdown Concert will be emceed by actor and comedian Kevin Hart. The concert will feature award-winning, country artist Tim McGraw during the afternoon set with rock band The Killers headlining the evening set immediately following the semi-final games. Performances will take place at Reunion Park on Saturday, April 5 from noon to 9 p.m. The Coke Zero Countdown Concert is a non-ticketed event open to the public on a first-come basis.
NCAA Final Four Dribble™ Refreshed by Coca-Cola (April 6) – Encouraging fun, healthy, active living for Dallas’ youth, up to 3,200 young people and their families will join the NCAA and Coca-Cola for the Final Four Dribble. Participants will parade through the heart of downtown Dallas, led by NBA legend David Robinson and CBS Sports Reporter Tracy Wolfson. The event kicks off on Sunday, April 6, at 11:30 a.m. at the Dallas City Hall Plaza and finishes at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center at noon. Participating youth will receive a T-shirt, basketball and free entry into Bracket Town™. The event is free, but requires pre-registration at www.ncaa.com/final-four/dribble.
Bracket Town™ presented by Capital One® (April 4-7) – Bracket Town fills the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center with more than 350,000 square feet dedicated to family-friendly activities. Coca-Cola’s massive footprint will feature appearances by former student-athletes and coaches, as well as opportunities to refresh your taste buds with samples of Coca-Cola products. Tickets are on sale at the door and range from $5 (kids under 11) to $10 (adults 12+).
Coca-Cola Special Olympics Unified Sports Experience (April 6) – Celebrities will team up with local Special Olympic athletes for a fun Unified Sports Experience that will spotlight social inclusion and acceptance from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at the POWERADE Court within Bracket Town. CBS Sports Reporter Tracy Wolfson will serve as host; athletes will be led by George Mason Head Basketball Coach Paul Hewitt. For more information, please visitwww.ncaa.com/final-four.
The POWERADE Combine (April 6) – Celebrities will partner with Special Olympic athletes for a skills challenge from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6 at the POWERADE Court within Bracket Town. The POWERADE Combine will challenge athletes at several timed stations, testing their speed, agility and shooting ability. For more information, please visit www.ncaa.com/final-four.
Coke Zero is the official fan refreshment of the NCAA and POWERADE is the official sports drink of the NCAA. More information on activities planned by the NCAA and The Coca Cola Company during the NCAA Men’s Final Four can be found at www.ncaa.com/final-four.
Final Four, March Madness, and Bracket Town are trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Allstate, Amazon (Kindle), Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Burger King, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Reese’s (Hershey’s), Unilever and UPS.
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. Led by Coca-Cola®, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company’s portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero™, vitaminwater®, POWERADE®, Minute Maid®, Simply™, Georgia® and Del Valle®. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.