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SBD Global/February 21, 2014/Olympics

Coca-Cola Uses Sochi Games To Drive Double-Digit Growth In Russia

The Sochi Games helped Coca-Cola achieve double-digit growth in Russia last year for its trademark Coca-Cola brand. The company has been using the Olympics to market its brand in Russia the last five years, and over that time it saw an increase in volume, brand preference and, perhaps most importantly, brand preference among Russian teens, which is a key demographic. Coca-Cola’s VP\Global Alliances & Ventures Emmanuel Seuge said, “The Olympics have definitely been a huge success in Russia. We had a good end of the year in Russia and activation started nine months ago in Russia.” Coca-Cola VP\Global of Partnerships & Experiential Marketing Scott McCune said that the other thing the Olympics had done was boost Coca-Cola’s sales and stature in southern Russia. The company has long been a market leader in the soft-drink category in Russia, but it trailed Pepsi in the south of the country. McCune said,  “Sochi has allowed us to take leadership because of the five-year build-up.”

SOCHI SHOWCASE: Coca-Cola has a large, red showcase pavilion in the Olympic Park in Sochi. More than 2,500 spectators a day are coming through the venue. The showcase emphasizes healthy and active living. It features two domes that can be seen by spectators as they exit the train station. One of the domes highlights Coke’s role in the Olympic Torch relay and talks about the history of the company in Russia. The second is interactive and encourages guests to live active lifestyles. Coca-Cola tends to put less emphasis on the Winter Games than it does on the Summer Olympics. It is only activating in 10 to 15 markets worldwide, and its focus around Sochi has been growing its business in Russia. In an earnings call last week, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said that the company last year saw its business achieve an “all-time high market share for non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages.”
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Olympics, Russia

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