Coca-Cola Renews Global Sponsorship of Special Olympics,Identifies Executive to Serve as Special Olympics President and COO
Coca-Cola and Special Olympics Further Partnership On 40th Anniversary of Long-Term Relationship.
ATLANTA.- The Coca-Cola Company and Special Olympics today announced the renewal of their partnership through 2011 and further strengthened their 40-year relationship with the election of Coca-Cola executive J. Brady Lum to serve as the new President and Chief Operating Officer of Special Olympics, Inc.
To celebrate the renewal of a partnership that dates to the founding of Special Olympics in 1968, The Coca-Cola Company hosted the semi-annual Special Olympics International Board of Directors meeting at the world headquarters of Coca-Cola where board members, along with other Coca-Cola employees, participated in sporting activities with invited Special Olympics athletes.
The worldwide sponsorship commitment, which covers the calendar years 2008 through 2011 – including support for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games and the 2011 World Summer Games – consists of cash, in-kind products and services, technical support and marketing and fund-raising support for Special Olympics.
Underscoring the relationship, the organizations announced that Lum will serve as President and COO of Special Olympics. In that capacity, he will provide strategic direction and day-to-day leadership for Special Olympics. Lum is a 15-year veteran of the Coca-Cola system, most recently having led the integration of the “Manifesto for Growth,” a global initiative that recast the Company’s mission, vision and capabilities. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in operations, marketing, strategic planning and organizational development, including Vice President, North America Strategic Planning and Integration and Vice President and Northeast Region Manager for Coca-Cola North America.
Mr. Lum’s community involvement has been extensive. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the national Hands On Network, and as a Board Member, chaired the Strategic Planning Committee of the recently combined Hands On Network and Points of Light Foundation. He has also served on the Jefferson Scholars National Selection Committee and Mead Endowment Advisory Board at the University of Virginia, and is a graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy in Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs, with honors, from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in business from Harvard University.
“For the past four decades, Coca-Cola has been a committed supporter of Special Olympics,” said Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics. “That dedication is evident today through a renewed sponsorship but perhaps even more telling, the willingness to offer a very talented and experienced executive to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of Special Olympics. It is a rare opportunity to welcome someone of Brady’s caliber and expertise in building collaborative teams and working within multinational, decentralized businesses.”
Lum’s involvement represents a continuation of Coca-Cola’s support for Special Olympics through its senior leadership. In 2007, Muhtar Kent, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, was elected to the Special Olympics International Board of Directors.
“It is appropriate that in a year when we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our founding partnership with Special Olympics that we further strengthen the ties that bond our organizations,” said Mr. Kent. “It is a reflection that we are natural partners because we share the same values of inclusion, acceptance and optimism.”
Coca-Cola, which became a founding partner of Special Olympics when the organization was established in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, has been deeply involved with both the summer and winter editions of the Special Olympics World Games since 1979. The Coca-Cola Company supports the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Special Olympics World Games, three global events that bring people together from all around the world through sport. “I look forward to working with Tim Shriver, a truly visionary leader, in exploring new opportunities to extend the reach and impact that the Special Olympics has on communities around the world,” said Lum.
Special Olympics athletes, Coca-Cola employees and members of the Special Olympics Board of Directors at today’s festivities came together in the “Special Olympics Sports Experience” zone set up at Coca-Cola headquarters. This activity allowed participants to experience the talents and personalities of Special Olympics athletes first hand through interactive sports activities such as basketball, table tennis, bocce and floor hockey.
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