Atlanta, Aug. 26, 2014 – Whether it’s stocking up at the grocery store for the tailgate party, singing fight songs at the Friday night pep rally or painting can’t-miss signs to hold in the crowd, football fans enjoy every moment of the weekly countdown to zero. And this season, Coke Zero is celebrating the countdown culture through a fully integrated campaign using traditional media, social media engagement and the most popular pre-game show on television — ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot.
Entering its second year with College GameDay, Coke Zero is launching a new campaign dedicated to essential weekly preparation in the run-up to Saturdays. Section Zero — the ultimate place for fan revelry — will return bigger and better than before. At each campus College GameDay visits, Section Zero will treat 50 raucous fans to premium seating and an up-close look at the action. Section Zero also will be integrated into the weekly telecast, reaching fans who tune into the show nationwide. Students can earn access to Section Zero by participating in the on-campus Cornhole Challenge presented by The Home Depot, Coke Zero and Coca‑Cola®.
“Coke Zero provides season-long uplift for fans as they spend each week preparing for and counting down to zero,” said Andrew McMillin, Vice President, Coca‑Cola Brands, North America. “While there’s no question game day is the mountaintop, this campaign is really intended to celebrate the journey. Through a strong, integrated program highlighted by our College GameDay visibility, Coke Zero is encouraging fans to enjoy every moment of the season.”
The many ways fans and their favorite teams count down to zero each week is the inspiration for the Coke Zero brand’s new “Zero Means It’s Game Day” ad campaign directed by Matt Aselton. Five :15 spots — each focusing on a specific weekday — illustrate how intensity builds as game day draws closer. A :30 version, which features the full countdown, will make its national debut during the first week of the season. The campaign will appear both online and on NBC, CBS and across ESPN networks during college football games.
“Wherever fans are engaged with a sport or activity they love, we want to be there to support their passions through our brands,” said Sharon Byers, Senior Vice President, Sports, Entertainment and Community Marketing, Coca‑Cola North America. “College football, with its gregarious fan base, provides ample opportunity for Coke Zero to match excitement to rich experiences in the lead up to – and on – game day.”
All season, Coke Zero will engage fans through social media with shareable content and real-time dialogue around the #CountdownToZero. During the run up to the first College GameDay telecast, Coke Zero Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will feature a Lee Corso mascot using visuals and videos to tell the story of his cross-country countdown to zero. A website will aggregate all Coke Zero countdown content and social conversation where people can watch the TV spots, online-only, behind-the-scenes videos with ESPN talent, win a VIP experience at College GameDay and win instant prizes.
In retail, football graphics will appear across all Coke Zero and Coca‑Cola packaging.
ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest running and most celebrated pregame show – originates from the site of each weekend’s biggest college football story. The weekly three-hour Emmy Award-winning show (Saturday 9 a.m.-noon ET) is hosted by Chris Fowler with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack with reporting by Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, Scott Van Pelt and Gene Wojciechowski.
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 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.