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SBD Global/December 18, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Coca-Cola Exec Believes Annual Report Will Show Olympic Sponsorship Boosted Business

With less than 100 days to go before the London Games, Coca-Cola VP of Global Partnerships and Experiential Marketing Scott McCune set a lofty goal for the company’s Olympic marketing program. McCune said, “Our benchmark is that our annual report for 2010 said that the FIFA World Cup drove our business in the second and third quarter. I would love for our 2012 annual report to say the Olympic Games drove our business.” The annual report won’t be released until next month, but results from this summer suggest the Olympics will be mentioned. Marketing around the London Games helped boost Coca-Cola’s case volume worldwide and reduced the company’s promotional expenses by more than $30M in the third quarter. The results came on the heels of the company’s largest, single marketing program around an Olympic Games. Coke, which spends $100M every four years to sponsor the IOC’s The Olympic Partner program, had 110 markets use its multiplatform “Move to the Beat” campaign featuring British producer Mark Ronson, who made a song from the sounds of Olympians training. The participation of 110 markets nearly doubled the 60 markets that activated around the 2008 Beijing Games.

INCREASING GLOBAL VOLUME: Coca-Cola also credited the Olympics with increasing case volume 5% in Latin America, 2% in North America and 1% in Europe. Those increases came despite uncertainty in the European and global economy. Markets that activated heavily such as Mexico, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, China and Japan saw significant increases in volume. McCune: “Volume was up in the markets activating, and it was up more in the markets activating than the ones that didn’t. We also look at consumer metrics. Do we move people in Brazil from being monthly drinkers to weekly drinkers? Do we move weekly drinkers to daily drinkers? All of those were moving that direction, especially in emerging markets” (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).
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