Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games
The company's international blitz began in 1926 when company
President Robert Woodruff signed Coca-Cola as a sponsor of the 1928
Olympic Summer Games in Amsterdam. The U.S. Olympic Team and 1,000 cases
of Coca-Cola arrived at the games by freighter. Since then, the
relationship between the Olympic Games and Coca-Cola has only grown!
Many Coca-Cola divisions around the world sponsor
individual athletes or teams as well.
also the first year the Olympic flame was lit, and women were invited to
The Summer Games in Helsinki - Coca-Cola shipped 300,000 cases of bottles
and donated it for sale by the Disabled Ex-servicemen's Association.
The Winter Games in Oslo - The local Coca-Cola bottler chartered a
helicopter for advertising. In 1952 most people had never seen
anything like a helicopter and they were utterly fascinated. At the close of
the games, the helicopter was given to the city to help direct traffic.
1960 -- The
Summer Games in Rome - Italian bottlers welcomed athletes, officials and
spectators to Rome with a 45 rpm record of "Arrivederci Roma."
1964 -- The
Summer Games in Tokyo - This marked the first year Coca-Cola aided the athletes,
spectators and media with guide maps, sightseeing information and a phrase book.
The idea was so popular, it was adapted for use in Mexico City, Sapporo (Japan)
1979 -- The
Coca-Cola company worked with the Olympic Committee to create the U.S. Olympic
Hall of fame.
1988 -- The
Winter Games in Calgary - Coca-Cola orchestrated a world children's chorus.
Also, Coca-Cola opened the venue for what would later be deemed the games
number-one spectator sport -- The Coca-Cola Official Olympic Pin Trading Center.
1996 -- The
Summer Games in Atlanta - The
Games' centennial, as sole sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola brought
the flame to more than 350 cities and towns during the 94-day run.
You may know someone who got to run with the flame! I was
fortunate enough to watch the flame's progress through Clark County, Indiana
into Louisville, Kentucky. I even got my picture taken with one of the runners,
as I held the torch!! AND I was there as the flame entered our nation's capital,
Washington, D.C. through Fairfax County, Virginia!
Olympic Commemorative Cans|
And their sponsorship continues ...