Coca-Cola continued its longstanding partnership with ESSENCE, as presenting sponsor of the 2018 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans from July 5-8, where the brand encouraged attendees to “Share a Coke” with friends and family at the African-American music and lifestyle festival of the summer.

“We are so excited to be a partner at the ESSENCE Festival for more than two decades, and to see it continue to be a world-renowned, unforgettable weekend that includes sisterhood, empowerment and inspiration for the black community,” said Zakia Holland, director of brand marketing activation, Coca-Cola North America.

The 2018 ESSENCE Festival attracted more than 500,000 attendees. This year’s festival featured another star-studded musical lineup, with iconic acts like Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Miguel, The Roots featuring Erykah Badu & Jill Scott and hip-hop legends Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and Salt-N-Pepa. Speakers included Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Actress, Producer and Screenwriter Lena Waithe; Motivational Speaker Iyanla Vanzant; and Journalist and News Anchor Lester Holt. Newly mayors of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, and Atlant, Keisha Lance Bottoms, also graced the stage to empower festivalgoers.

Coca-Cola had a significant presence at the festival, bringing the popular “Share a Coke” program to life in its fifth year, through dynamic programming that celebrated contemporary African-American culture and music. Highlights included the Coca-Cola booth at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where guests enjoyed morning jam sessions, girl group- themed karaoke to hot hits, opportunities to win special experiences with the Coca-Cola Sip & Scan program on 20-oz. bottles of Coca-Cola beverages via the “Share a Coke” labels social and digital experiences, and celebrity appearances. Attendees received complimentary Coca-Cola tote bags featuring Lady Coca and sung alongside host Fonzworth Bentley and a choir ensemble on the Superdome mainstage to remixed iconic Coca-Cola jingles from across the ages.

Coca-Cola is proud to continue to create unique experiences that resonate with festival attendees and most of all, connects to the shared values of Coca-Cola and ESSENCE: creating memorable moments with friends and family.