In Switzerland, we like to approach stakeholder engagement differently – on the football pitch.
This is how a team of Coca-Cola system employees recently squared up to members of the Swiss parliament for a friendly football match, held as part of our local Refresh 2020 campaign.
Staged at the site of Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland’s bottling plant in Bolligen, the event saw Team Coca-Cola Switzerland and federal members of the Swiss parliament, FC Nationalrat, gather for a day of fitness, networking and active lifestyle discussions.
The friendly match between Coca-Cola and FC Nationalrat has become a tradition over the past few years, with a non-partisan selection of parliamentarians from both chambers of the Swiss parliament (the legislative bodies of the National Council and the Council of States) playing against a selection of Coca-Cola system employees from Brüttisellen, Bolligen and Vals.
The last time the two teams met, Team Coca-Cola beat Team FC Nationalrat 8-1 after a penalty shoot-out. This year's showdown saw Team Coca-Cola rise to victory again, beating their political friends 3-2 in a closely contested game.
The match was followed by an informal barbecue, giving system employees the chance to mingle with the politicians and chat about our new Refresh 2020 campaign. This launched last month in Switzerland and calls on people to “Be Active and Feel Good”.
As well as educating consumers about the importance of balancing calories in with calories out (‘energy balance’), the campaign gives Coca-Cola Switzerland a great opportunity to raise awareness of the long-standing initiatives it takes to encourage people across the country to get active.
For example, this year is the 10th anniversary of the Coca-Cola Junior League, staged in partnership with the Swiss Football Federation. The league, which involves over 7,000 teenagers from all over Switzerland, will reach a climax at the grand finals, held on 22-23 June in Zurich.
As well as the Junior League, Coca-Cola Switzerland is further ramping up its support for grassroots sports with the launch of www.get-active.ch – a new portal that engages people around football events taking place in communities all over the country.
The Coca-Cola system in Switzerland is an important pillar of the economy and as such a key stakeholder for FC Nationalrat. We employ some 1,000 people directly and our business generated a value of 126 million Swiss francs in 2012 (€103 million). Our extended business operations in 2012 represented a total 1.2 billion Swiss francs (€978 million), creating 16,500 jobs across the country, according to a recent study.
“Our annual friendly match with FC Nationalrat is both a fun event and a valuable networking opportunity, giving us the chance to engage with key decision makers in the Swiss parliament and strengthen our ties with these important Coca-Cola stakeholders,” says Colin Forrest, Market Operations Manager Switzerland.