When you work at Coca-Cola, you have many opportunities to participate in cool events on campus, but nothing quite like this. When I heard the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour was stopping in Atlanta, I was psyched. I immediately Googled where I could see the infamous trophy and then realized… it was coming to my own work backyard. Literally.
Let the Games Begin
Thursday, April 17.
Employees take a photo opp with Brazilian dancers
9:30 a.m. The wind was howling, the temperature outside was freezing (well, for April anyways), and it was overcast. Sounds like a recipe for a dreary day, but oh no, nothing could bring down people’s spirits at this celebration. Enter the Coca-Cola headquarters courtyard. Typically, a peaceful area to enjoy some much-needed sunshine after spending too much time in a cubicle was now a Brazilian-themed party zone.
Brazilian percussionists beat their drums for the gathering crowd, and beautiful Brazilian dancers dressed in festive feathered costumes performed for the masses. Adding to the “World’s Cup” celebration, there were soccer drills to participate in to win clutch prizes like a Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup soccer ball or bag. I, on the other hand, won just by uploading a photo of me and my colleague Mallory to Instagram with the hashtag #ImOnTheFlag to be a part of the world’s largest photomosaic flag. Double win! But of course, I’m not actually going to kick around the soccer ball I won. It’s my new prized possession. Instead I’ll use it to liven up my work space and show it off to others.
The World is Ours
Revealing the World Cup Trophy to the crowd.
Photo Cred: Remy Swales
10:00 a.m. Decked out in a festive FIFA World Cup t-shirt, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent took the stage to greet the employees, friends and family members that came out. Shivering in their work suits, the crowd really began to warm up after it was announced that Atlanta will welcome its first MLS team by 2017. “Woo-hoos” filled the air. The news couldn’t have come at a more fitting time.
David Correy performs
After Mr. Kent and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal unveiled the gleaming FIFA World Cup Trophy, it was time for another star to hit the stage—David Correy, singer of the Official Anthem of Coca-Cola’s 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Campaign, 'The World is Ours'. My heart raced when he hit the stage. I’m not one to get star-struck often, but an uncontrollable wave of giddiness overcame me like I was a 5-year-old next in line to see Santa Claus. Trying to keep my composure, I filmed the first half of the song so I could relive that moment forever. I mean c’mon... the song is uniting the world over one sport. A chance to see that live comes once in a lifetime.
Meeting David Correy.
Once his performance was all said in done, I had to meet him. Correy's life story is so inspiring, and I wanted to let him know. I headed backstage with my co-worker, Ginny. There he was. I introduced myself and asked to take a few pictures with him to share on all my social media accounts. After all, it didn’t really happen unless you have a picture to prove it, right?
A Meet and Greet of a Lifetime
11:00 a.m. The photo opps were just getting started. Once the music stopped everyone made a bee-line to get a picture with the crown jewel: the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Whoa Nelly, was she a beauty! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would come this close to the 18k gold trophy that embodies more life than any other inanimate object.
“Next! Look here. Smile.” It was photo shoot time. I awkwardly stood there grinning from ear to ear not sure how to pose next to an encased trophy. Do I give a thumbs-up, look at the trophy and gasp, or…? *Camera flash* Well too late… awkward standing pose it was. I went with Ginny and Remy, our Coke Journey video editor, to retrieve our star-studded pictures. Yep, it was awkward looking but nothing could be worse than my 6th grade yearbook picture (braces, yikes!) so I was happy. After all, I’m standing with the FIFA World Cup trophy, there’s no such thing as a bad picture with that next to you.
With the trophy!
So thanks to my awesome job and company, I can now check this experience off my bucket list. And better yet, so could our video editor who says it was the best day of his life.
For me, to say this was the best day ever at work sounds about right.