SBD/June 12, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Kwan, Lysacek Among Olympians Signed By Coca-Cola For Sochi Campaign

Lysacek and the other athletes will not be featured in Coca-Cola commercials
Coca-Cola has signed four athletes to be the face of the company’s marketing campaign around the '14 Sochi Games. The company will feature figure skaters Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek, skier Ted Ligety and para-snowboarder Amy Purdy. Coke’s U.S. division featured six athletes during the '10 Vancouver Olympics, but that was in North America. Coca-Cola Dir of Olympic Marketing Dina Gerson said the company’s budget for athletes and Olympic marketing is flat from '12 and added that they reduced from six to four athletes because the latest batch of Olympians “resonated and will bring our program to life in the best possible way.” Coke will feature silhouettes of the athletes on cans and packaging ahead of Sochi. It also will create vignettes about them that will air on NBC and use them for appearances before, during and after the Games. The athletes will not be featured in commercials next year. The company evaluated more than 75 athletes and spoke to the USOC, NGBs, agents and media before making its selections. Gerson said that Coca-Cola chose to work with two figure skaters, a skier and a snowboarder because those are the most popular sports in the Games. Gerson said, “When we took a look at what the consumer was watching, skiing and skating, and the athletes who embodied Coca-Cola athletes, this felt right and the perfect fit.” Kwan is the first Olympic legend Coke has worked with, Gerson said. She added that they chose Kwan because she will be available before and during the Games for appearances and events. Gerson: “Right before the Games, a lot of these athletes can’t partner with us in specific ways because they’re so focused on making the team. We wanted a legend to balance it out.”
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