Russia is playing host to the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, which kicked off May 6. The world's best hockey teams will face off in the state-of-the-art Ice Palace arena in Moscow and the Yubileiny sport arena in Saint-Petersburg.

The tournament will be the biggest international sporting event held in Russia this year, with 400,000 spectators watching 64 matches. Coca-Cola will be there all the way as an official partner.

Coca-Cola Russia’s successful partnerships at major events such as the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2015 FINA in Kazan, created unforgettable fan experiences while benefiting communities. Coca-Cola Russia is continuing this work by serving as an official partner with both the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship and the Russian National Ice Hockey Team.

The official signing ceremony was held last week in Moscow between Ljubo Grujic, Coca-Cola general manager in Russia and Belarus, and Vladislav Tretiak, legendary Russian hockey goalkeeper, president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF) and Deputy of the Russian State Duma.

Coca-Cola Russia is honored to be an official supplier of a wide range of high-quality soft drinks, water and juices for the teams, players, organizers, volunteers and spectators and will launch a campaign on social media, inviting all fans to come together and support their national team.

"Ice, emotions, and authentic feelings -- all these are common features of both Coca-Cola and ice hockey," Grujic said. "People in our country love hockey from their childhood when they start playing in their neighborhood. This sport is part as well of rich Russian history, with so many magical and memorable moments.

He continued, "For Сoca-Cola Russia, it is a great honor to support the Russian national team and such a large-scale sporting event like 2016 International Ice Hockey World Championship. This partnership is an important milestone for Coca-Cola Russia in our continuous effort to contribute to the development of sport in Russia. As a partner, we want to help build excitement around hockey; we want Coca-Cola to make every hockey moment more special; and we hope that more and more young Russians will start playing in all our regions. Coca-Cola wishes great wins to the Russian national team at the World Championship and great moments to the fans!"

Tretyak added, "The Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia is a powerful incentive for the development of mass participation in ice hockey across the country. In Russia, there are more than 300 youth sports schools where tens of thousands of children and teenagers are trained to play ice hockey. I hope that the world championship will help attract more boys and girls to ice hockey classes, and I appreciate Coca-Cola's comprehensive support of sports in general and ice hockey in particular.”

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola expanded its dedication to sport and hockey in Russia through a long-term partnership with the Continental Hockey League (KHL), one of the world's largest ice hockey leagues. The league was established in 2008 and originally consisted of 24 clubs. In the season of 2015/1016 it embraces 28 clubs from seven countries. The core of the League (22 clubs) are Russian teams, there are also clubs from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovakia, Finland, and Croatia.

Beyond Hockey, Coca-Cola is very engaged in the development of football in Russia being a long-term partner of the Russian National Football team, supporting a grassroots football program Kozhany myach in partnership with the Russian Ministry of Sport since 2009 & working closely with FIFA & the Russia Local Organizing Committee to promote and activate the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

On the evening of the partnership signing, TASS news agency held a press conference dedicated to the IIHF World Championship. At the press conference, Tretiak announced the agreements with Coca-Cola Russia. Here are some photos:

Coca-Cola Russia Sponsors World Ice Hockey Championship
Ljubo Grujic, General Manager, Coca-Cola Russia and Belarus, and Vladislav Tretyak, President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF) & Deputy of State Duma of the Russian Federation, signing the new partnership.

Coca-Cola Russia Sponsors World Ice Hockey Championship
This partnership is an important milestone for Coca-Cola Russia in its continuous effort to contribute to the development of Sport in Russia.

Coca-Cola Russia Sponsors World Ice Hockey Championship
Ljubo Grujic congratulating Vladislav Tretyak for his 10 years as President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

Coca-Cola Russia Sponsors World Ice Hockey Championship

Coca-Cola Russia Sponsors World Ice Hockey Championship
The same evening, TASS news agency held a press conference dedicated to the Championship. At the press conference, Vladislav Tretyak announced new partnership with Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Russia Sponsors World Ice Hockey Championship

Through its partnership, Coca-Cola will help build excitement around hockey and will make every hockey moment more special.