Coca-Cola Campaigns Raise Attention For Special Olympics and 2007 World Summer Games
Coca-Cola China Donation of 8 Million RMB ($1 Million USD) This Week Caps Year Of Extensive Cause-Related Marketing and Awareness Programs
SHANGHAI, China.- For The Coca-Cola Company and its employees, the long-awaited opening here of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games caps a year of extraordinary support activities culminating with the event that celebrates the accomplishments of more than 7,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Since renewing its global sponsorship of Special Olympics Inc. a year ago, the Company has conducted a broad series of special events and cause-related marketing campaigns in China to support and raise awareness of the 2007 World Summer Games.
Thanks largely to proceeds raised from its cause-related initiatives – such as a major online auction and Special Olympics commemorative packaging for consumers – Coca-Cola China this week presented Special Olympics with a donation of 8 million RMB (US$1 million). The contribution coincides with the staging Oct. 2-11 in Shanghai of the 12th World Summer Games, which have drawn athletes from more than 160 countries, plus 40,000 volunteers, 3,500 event officials and thousands of families, spectators and journalists from every continent.
“The messages of optimism, acceptance and inclusion championed by Special Olympics represent the same values that are important to Coca-Cola,” said Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “That bond has sustained our commitment as a sponsor of the Special Olympics since its inception in 1968. The World Summer Games provide us an opportunity to give something back to the community. Our employees and partners in China took this especially to heart, as can be seen in all our activities across the country,” added Kent, who also serves as a Special Olympics International board member. Kent was present in Shanghai for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2007 World Summer Games.
“Through its energetic campaigns, Coca-Cola has dramatically helped raise awareness of Special Olympics and active interest in the World Summer Games throughout China,” said Timothy Shriver, chairman, Special Olympics. “The Company has been a committed, long-standing supporter, and we are grateful for its unsurpassed tradition of helping Special Olympics spread the message of sport, joy and human acceptance to communities around the world.”
In addition to its cause-related marketing programs, Coca-Cola China during the past several months has executed a multifaceted awareness campaign for Special Olympics and the 2007 World Summer Games. Efforts have included school and university outreach, Internet activity, high-profile outdoor advertising, extensive retail displays, and colorful event signage on nearly 20,000 coolers and vending machines in the greater Shanghai region. Additional on-site activities have been developed for athletes and spectators attending the World Summer Games.
Highlights from overall programs by Coca-Cola China include:
* “Together for Special Olympics: International Children’s Day Unified Sports Celebration” – For China’s International Children’s Day observance last June 2, Coca-Cola and three other Special Olympics sponsors joined forces to rally more than 1,000 volunteers from at least two dozen multinational corporations for an afternoon of sports and social activities with students at special education schools in Shanghai and Beijing.
* Online Auction – This key fund-raising vehicle was produced through the auction web site www.paipai.com (operated by China’s leading Internet portal QQ.com, a global Top 10 site highly popular with Chinese youth). From June through September, Coca-Cola China stirred public bids for Coke collectibles and prized items from China’s most-popular Olympians, including a Special Olympics T-shirt with a design inspired and signed by Olympic Games hurdling gold medalist Liu Xiang. Unique crystal bottle artworks signed by Liu Xiang and international basketball sensation Yao Ming also were among the auction items capturing exceptionally high bidding interest.
* Web Communications – To increase awareness and encourage participation in the Special Olympics movement among Chinese youth, a special section of the Coca-Cola China web site www.icoke.cn has provided its millions of registered users with up-to-date information about Special Olympics and the World Summer Games, as well as the history of sponsor support by Coca-Cola. The site also linked visitors to the online auction and provided them opportunities to send e-cards to Special Olympics athletes.
* Commemorative Packaging – For the past two months, consumers at more than 2,700 retail outlets in the greater Shanghai region have been able to purchase specially designed bottles of Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta imprinted with the Special Olympics-related theme, “Full Loving Heart, Full Refreshing Enjoyment.” Coca-Cola China has set aside a percentage from each purchase toward the Company’s contribution to the Special Olympics World Summer Games, as part of its schedule of cause-related marketing activities.
* Refreshing the 2007 World Summer Games – Coca-Cola China and its bottling partner Shanghai Shenmei Beverages & Food Co. Ltd. are coordinating the massive beverage equipment and service requirements for more than 30 competition and non-competition venues during the global event. More than 3 million complimentary servings of Company products are expected to be provided the athletes, officials, staff, volunteers, media and special guests. The beverage lineup includes Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid, Nestea, and Sensation water.
Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, The Coca-Cola Company has been an active global sponsor, providing monetary and in-kind contributions, hands-on volunteer assistance, equipment, uniforms and other materials and services for Special Olympics competitions and community activities.
In October 2006, Coca-Cola extended its top-level, worldwide partnership, including the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games, this year’s largest global sports event. These are the first Special Olympics World Summer Games in Asia and only the second edition of the World Summer Games held outside the United States.
The Coca-Cola Company is the only sponsor supporting the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Special Olympics World Games.
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