Harnessing the power of an integrated marketing campaign that includes engagement via social media, in-store retail displays, fund-raising activities, employee volunteers, a television commercial and experiential activity, The Coca-Cola Company is creating greater awareness for the Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011.
“We share the values of Special Olympics and the vision of acceptance, inclusion and optimism,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “One of the best ways we can support Special Olympics is by communicating those positive messages to the millions of people that reach for a Coca-Cola every day.”
Among the numerous marketing efforts Coca-Cola has undertaken to support Special Olympics has been a Facebook campaign in Greece asking fans to share a message of hope with the athletes online to trigger a 1 euro donation per message. This theme of sharing well-wishes for athletes is also carried through in a television commercial that features more than 100 Coca-Cola employees and Special Olympics athlete Panayiotis Koutatzis. Additionally, extensive in-store displays throughout Greece drove awareness of Special Olympics and allowed people to place messages in “Coca-Cola Happiness Bottles” which are now on display at competition venues.
Also, during the month of May, Coca-Cola donated a portion of the sales of every Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light and Coke Zero in Greece to support Special Olympic athletes. These, and other Coca-Cola fund-raising activities, generated 500,000 euros. In a brief ceremony at a Special Olympics venue at the Athens Olympic Stadium (OAKA) on Sunday, Muhtar Kent presented the funds to the World Games Organizing Committee.
“On behalf of the entire Special Olympics family, I thank Coca-Cola for being a leader in creating opportunities of joy for our athletes and their families,” said Timothy Shriver Chairman and CEO Special Olympics. “Since our founding in 1968, Coca-Cola has been dedicated partner in helping us build communities of acceptance for athletes.”
Coca-Cola Greece expects to serve approximately two million servings to refresh the 7,000 athletes and the tens of thousands of family, friends, volunteers and fans attending the Special Olympics in Athens. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, The Coca-Cola Company has been a proud global sponsor, providing monetary and in-kind contributions, hands-on volunteer assistance, equipment, uniforms and other materials and services for Special Olympics competitions and community activities around the world.
Among the athletes participating in the World Games this year is Andrés Delgado, 27, a Coca-Cola employee who is the mail coordinator at the Company’s offices in Caracas, Venezuela. In 2003, he represented Venezuela at the Ireland Special Olympic Games, bringing back two bronze medals in weight lifting. For the Athens World Summer Games, Andres is competing in artistic gymnastics.
“My husband and I are proud to see our son participate in the Special Olympics again,” said his mother, Olga Delgado. “But this time it is special given everything Coca-Cola has done to support him. This means a lot to us and we are grateful to Coca-Cola for considering Andrés as a fully integrated part of the team.”