SBD/April 1, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Coca-Cola, AT&T Serving As Sponsors For "Conan" Shows Promoting Final Four

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The first of four episodes of TBS’ “Conan” will be taped in Atlanta today at The Tabernacle, with a pair of NCAA corporate champions, Coca-Cola and AT&T, serving as presenting sponsors. The shows air tonight through Thursday at 11:00pm ET and serve as part of the promotional build-up to this weekend’s Final Four at the Georgia Dome. Host Conan O’Brien began sending out Twitter posts this past weekend upon his arrival in Atlanta, and will continue his Atlanta and NCAA tournament social media blasts through the week. Coke Zero and AT&T have prominent branding on O’Brien’s Team Coco website. “The vision is to figure out a way to truly fuse sports and entertainment and Conan is a critical piece of the build-up,” said Coca-Cola Senior VP/Sports & Marketing Partnerships Sharon Byers. “It all goes back to discussions that David Levy and I were having last year at the Final Four in New Orleans. How can we up the activation in Atlanta, particularly because this is the 75th anniversary of the tournament and Atlanta is our hometown (for Coca-Cola headquarters). That’s where the Conan discussions came into being. Conan provides a direct target to the 18-24 group. He’s really popular with college kids and he talks to them in a unique way. It hits the bull’s eye for us, especially with his focus on social media.” Among O’Brien’s guests will be Turner analyst Charles Barkley on Thursday. The show also promotes other Final Four-related surprises throughout the week.

DANCE TO THE MUSIC: Coca-Cola also is expanding its musical lineup for the weekend. In the past, Coca-Cola has sponsored one of three Final Four concerts on the Saturday with a pair of musical acts. This Saturday, however, it will have a full day of music, including performances by Muse, Flo Rida, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Ludacris in Centennial Park. O’Brien’s sidekick on the show, Andy Richter, will emcee the full day of music. AT&T’s concert on Friday features the Zac Brown Band with My Morning Jacket and Saints of Valory, while Capital One on Sunday brings in Dave Matthews Band with Sting and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. “This is the first year we have gone soup to nuts, with concerts all day long,” Byers said. “It’s really a perfect fusion of all the properties -- Turner, CBS and the NCAA -- working together to make this happen.”
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