ATLANTA, Jan. 28, 2013 – Let the games begin! On January 29, Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games will be underway in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea. In support of the Games, The Coca‑Cola Company is activating a fully integrated marketing campaign to help raise awareness and interest in this world-class sporting event that showcases the unlimited potential of people with intellectual disabilities.
The campaign, created by Coca‑Cola Korea, includes celebrity activations, in-store displays, fundraising activities, employee volunteer programs and a TV commercial.
Through its “Coke Red Ribbon Friends” campaign, Coca‑Cola Korea enlisted 100 of the country’s top celebrities as ambassadors for Special Olympics World Winter Games. Celebrities like 2010 Olympic gold medal figure skater Yuna Kim and Korean American actress Yunjin Kim, of the ABC hit TV series “Lost,” used their star power, social media networks and public appearances to promote Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games. They educated their friends, families and fans, and raised funds for the 2013 World Winter Games Organizing Committee. The campaign and other Coca‑Cola fundraising activities generated more than $800,000 in support for Special Olympics.
“The Coca‑Cola Company and Special Olympics have been strong partners for 45 years,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca‑Cola Company. “We are privileged to celebrate and share with the world moments of connection, community and optimism in support of the amazing young men and women whose sacrifice, determination and sheer love of life inspire us all.”
More than 2,300 athletes, from 110 countries will compete in eight Olympic-type sports including alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey and a demonstration sport of floorball.
At Games time, Coca‑Cola Korea expects to refresh the athletes and the tens of thousands of family, friends, volunteers and fans in attendance. Coca‑Cola will welcome Special Olympics athletes and their families, as well as fans and consumers, to the Happiness House within the Olympic venue. The Happiness House will serve as a place for visitors to refresh, relax and have fun.
In the U.S., The Coca‑Cola Company recently played host to Special Olympics Georgia, celebrating two very special athletes. Marnie Hornsby and Sissy Cooley are two of the Georgia athletes embarking on the 7,000 mile, 15-hour journey to South Korea to compete in the 2013 World Winter Games. Hornsby will be competing in Alpine Skiing and Cooley in speed skating.
Hornsby, who was born with epilepsy, describes a childhood frustrated by years of working to find the right medications at the right levels to stave off the seizures that result from the brain disorder. She began competing with Special Olympics in 2006 and her mother, Paige Hornsby recalled the change she saw in her. “Marnie was a child that if she spoke, it was very quietly. She didn’t look at you eye to eye.” She called Special Olympics, “a lifesaver.”
The Coca‑Cola Company has a longstanding history with Special Olympics which was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968. As a global sponsor from the beginning, the Company has provided 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.
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, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 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 1.8 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 www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.