One of Special Olympics' longstanding corporate partners, The Coca-Cola Company has been affiliated with the movement since 1968, providing support for the movement through cash, in-kind products and marketing services. Coca-Cola's support has ranged from local Special Olympics Programs to the Special Olympics World Games.
Special Olympics World Games Highlights
As an Official Global Partner of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China Coca-Cola not only provided support through the provision of products and volunteers, it also took part in a multi-faceted marketing campaign. The campaign ranged from a major online auction featuring high-profile items donated by NBA Star Yao Ming and Olympic gold medalist Liu Xiang, to Special Olympics commemorative packaging and an awareness campaign that included school and university outreach, Internet activity, outdoor advertising, retail displays and signage on nearly 20,000 coolers and vending machines in the Shanghai area. All of this culminated in Coca-Cola presenting a check for 8 million RMB (US$1 million) to the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Coca-Cola's support continues around the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, once again through various forms that highlight their commitment to the Special Olympics movement – from an online awareness campaign through mycokerewards.com, advertising on Coca-Cola trucks and media activities, to activation through retail point of sales and onsite at the Games through the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Booth and employee engagement.
Marketing Support Highlights
In 2008, Coca-Cola featured Special Olympics athletes in a commercial that was aired during the Beijing Summer Olympics. The theme of the commercial was supporting every Olympic dream and featured several Special Olympics athletes alongside Olympic athletes and Special Olympics supporters such as Nadia Comaneci (Special Olympics Board Member), Carl Lewis and Rafer Johnson. Some highlights of the coverage the commercial received include:
Advertising Age - “Ceremony” was the top Nielson IAG rated ad in the month of August 2008
USA Today - Rated as one of the favorite ads during the Olympics
Vogue Republic - Rated as the number one ad from the Beijing Games
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