The Votes Are In! Fans Choose Three Young People To Represent Coca-Cola On Unprecedented, 275,000-Mile Journey Around The World
Selected Through Global Online Vote, Trio Will Visit 206 Countries in 365 Days To Seek Out What Makes People Happy
Adventure To Play Out Online at www.expedition206.com with “Happiness Ambassadors” Facebooking, Twittering, Youtubing And Flickring Their Way Around The Globe
ATLANTA - Three young people have landed one of the coolest jobs in the world. As part of Coca-Cola’s Expedition 206, the team will attempt to visit 206 countries and territories where Coca-Cola is sold, covering more than 275,000 miles in just 365 days, all on a mission to find out what makes people happy.
Following a worldwide online vote to determine the team of happiness ambassadors, the three winners -- Tony Martin, 29, a Washington , D.C. , native now teaching kindergarten in Munich ; Kelly Ferris, 23, a university student from Brussels ; and Antonio Santiago, 24, a university student from Mexico City -- were introduced today at a global investor event at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta .
Martin, Ferris and Santiago will embark on one of the most ambitious travel adventures ever during 2010, bringing Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” campaign to life as they visit people from different cultures, document their experiences and share stories of happiness with the world.
People can follow the entire journey as it plays out in real-time on the expedition’s online headquarters at www.Expedition206.com, as well as on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and other social networking sites. Fans also will serve as “virtual travel agents,” helping the team decide where they go, what they do and who they visit in each destination.
“Our goal is to bring fans along for the ride, using social media platforms to make them an integral part of the adventure,” said Clyde Tuggle, senior vice president, Global Public Affairs and Communications, The Coca-Cola Company. “The magic of Expedition 206 is in its potential to bring people together in a global conversation, highlighting the stories of happiness and optimism people everywhere are eager to share.”
Beginning in Madrid on Jan. 1, 2010, and concluding in Atlanta on Dec. 31, 2010, the expedition will make stops in cities big and small, visiting with people and attending marquee global events, such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Canada , the FIFA World Cup in South Africa , and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai , China . Along the way, Coca-Cola will identify people to act as a “Happiness Host” in each destination to welcome the team and help guide them on their exploration.
“Tony, Antonio and I have been given an amazing opportunity and we’re eager to hit the road to meet thousands of people around the world,” said Ferris, who was born in South Africa and grew up in Belgium . “It’s an ambitious task, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a year than exploring what makes people happy.”
“I still can’t believe that I’ve landed this chance of a lifetime,” added Tony Martin, who now resides in Munich , Germany . “If we stick to our itinerary we’ll set a new world record for the number of countries visited in one year. I’ve already started packing my bags.”
“I already spend a lot of time connecting with my friends and new people online,” said Antonio Santiago of Mexico City . “This expedition will give me a chance to share my experiences with a truly global audience through blog posts, photos and videos.”
During their first day on the job, the team kicked off “Happiness Ambassador Training Camp,” a mix of fun and educational sessions designed to prepare them for the year-long trip of a lifetime. Among other activities, the team was coached by Marcus Shapiro, an adventure travel fitness specialist from Atlanta-based Fit For Trips, who led them through an exercise routine and provided tips on staying mentally and physically healthy on the road. After a crash course in the art of speed-packing, Chef Brian Whitcomb, distinguished alumni of The International School of the Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta, presented a tasting of exotic foods to prepare their palates. The travelers also learned some key phrases -- including “What makes you happy?” -- in several of the world’s most widely spoken languages, courtesy of Marc de Foucault from the Language Institute of Atlanta. Preparations will continue over the next several weeks leading up to the team’s departure.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater, POWERADE®, Minute Maid® and Georgia® Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
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