Atlanta, May 10, 2012 - Coke Zero is welcoming a new member into the Coca‑Cola Racing Family, and it's one of the most talked about athletes in professional sports. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ rookie Danica Patrick has signed a multi-year endorsement deal to represent the Coke Zero brand.
The Coca‑Cola Racing Family, established in 1998, has boasted some of the biggest names in motorsports, including past champions Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and reigning champ, Tony Stewart. Patrick, who will run 10 Sprint Cup races in 2012 as part of Stewart-Haas Racing, will sport the Coke Zero logo on her firesuit and her No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. She will appear in a series of vignettes premiering during the Coke Zero 400, will be featured in marketing executions such as retail point of sale materials and will make personal appearances on behalf of the Coke Zero brand.
"Joining the Coca‑Cola Racing Family is one of the really cool things that's happened so far in my career. I'm a Coke Zero drinker and fan, so with this partnership, I really get to have it all," said Patrick. "I'm really excited about working with Coke Zero for a lot of reasons, but the idea of having my image at retail stores next to guys like Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman and the rest of the Coca‑Cola Racing Family is amazing."
Two of Patrick's first roles as a Coke Zero spokesperson will take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. In addition to competing in the Coca‑Cola 600, Patrick will collaborate with actress Brooklyn Decker to promote the summer blockbuster, "Battleship," which Coke Zero is partnering with Universal Pictures to promote. Patrick will not race in the Coke Zero 400, but she will participate in activities surrounding the event and serve as a special correspondent, giving fans a sneak peek behind the scenes via the Coke Zero Twitter account at one of the year's most exciting races.
"Danica is a talented driver, a fierce competitor, and an always-relevant personality in the world of motorsports, and we're excited to welcome her to the Coke Zero brand and the Coca‑Cola Racing Family," said Sharon Byers, senior vice president of sports and entertainment marketing partnerships, The Coca‑Cola Company. "The Coke Zero brand has seen consistently strong growth since it launched, and to maintain that success, we need to bring new consumers to the franchise. We believe partnering with one of the most relevant and talked about athletes in motorsports -- and one who embodies the brand's "enjoy everything" spirit -- will help us do just that."
Patrick debuted in the IRL IndyCar Series in 2005 where she finished the season at 12th overall on the way to earning Rookie of the Year honors. In 2008, she became the first woman to win an IRL IndyCar Series race with her victory at the Indy Japan 300. She joined the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 for a part-time schedule and finished fourth in the 2011 Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR top-circuit.
On February 27, Patrick made her Sprint Cup Series debut at the Daytona 500 where she finished 38 th after an early race accident in front of her collected her car. Her part-time schedule for the remainder of the 2012 Sprint Cup season includes:
- May 12 -- Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway
- May 27 -- Coca‑Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
- August 25 -- Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
- September 2 -- Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
- September 16 -- Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway
- September 30 -- AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway
- November 4 -- AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
- November 11 -- Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway
Patrick will be the only current member of the Coca‑Cola Racing Family to specifically represent the Coke Zero brand.
Coca‑Cola has been involved with stock car racing for more than 50 years and has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998. Through its partnerships with International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Coca‑Cola refreshes racing fans at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. A signature part of the brand's NASCAR association is the Coca‑Cola Racing Family -- a group of top drivers that includes Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart. The Company also maintains relationships with Dale Jarrett, Ned Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Elliott Sadler. Coca‑Cola Racing Family members make appearances and are featured in advertising, promotions and packaging.
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 employees. 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.