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Coca-Cola on the Road to Paris: “The Olympic Torch Relay is when the party really starts for us”

08 May 2024 – As the countdown to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 continues, the Worldwide Olympic Partners are preparing to play a fundamental role in making the Games a success. In our “Road to Paris” series, these Partners talk about some of the essential support they will be providing and reveal their excitement at helping to shape an unforgettable Olympic experience for fans and athletes alike. Here, we speak with Tim Dignard, Coca-Cola’s Director of Global Sports Partnerships and Operations.

What are some of the key milestones for Coca-Cola on the journey to Paris 2024?

Coca-Cola is incredibly excited about Paris 2024. I feel like for the Olympic Movement, for fans around the world, it’s been a long time coming. And we’re really excited about the journey ahead. For us, it’ll start with the Olympic Torch Relay.

“When the flame arrives in Marseille on 8 May, that’s when the party really starts for us; the celebration across all of France. And you can be sure that we’ll be there being very active, promoting the Olympics and getting everyone ready for the Games.”

Tim Dignard – Coca-Cola’s Director of Global Sports Partnerships and Operations

So that’s one of our biggest milestones. But then when the Games come, you can expect that we’ll be there in a big way. We’ll be refreshing all the athletes, all the spectators and the entire Olympic community. There will be some phenomenal experiential marketing that’s really going to push the boundaries in terms of how we fuse together passion points, like music and sport, and we’ll be there with the athletes throughout their journey, from the day they arrive in the Olympic Village all the way through the end of their competition.

Coca-Cola uses a range of passion points to engage its global consumers – how does its Olympic partnership align with this strategy?

“For Coca-Cola, passion points are all about connecting with our audience, going where our audiences are, and being part of that experience with them. Passion points can be sport, music or culture, but more and more now we see these passion points fusing together.”

Tim Dignard – Coca-Cola’s Director of Global Sports Partnerships and Operations

With the Olympics and music, for example, these are two things that are very globally relevant, and many different age groups are very passionate about them. For us, it’s all about fusing those passion points together, so that we can bring Olympic fans and music fans together and introduce them to new experiences.

The Coca-Cola Company is the longest-standing partner of the Olympic Movement – why do you think the partnership has remained so strong for so long?

The Coca-Cola Company and the Olympic Movement have been partners for nearly 100 years, since 1928 to be exact, and there are a lot of reasons why this partnership has gone on as strongly as it has, but it comes down to the fact that our values are so perfectly aligned. We’re two of the few brands in the world that are present in around 200 countries, and we both believe in the power of sport and unifying people.

From a business perspective, why is an Olympic partnership important for Coca-Cola?

Our partnership dates back to Amsterdam 1928, and those first Games in Amsterdam were all about bringing our product from America to the Netherlands and making it available for the athletes, for the fans and for everyone who was experiencing the Games. So, it was really about international expansion. The Olympics were becoming a global movement, we were becoming a global brand. Since then, we’ve come a long way in terms of how we approach the Games, how we activate the Games, but the core has always been how we accelerate the business and how we drive forward with agendas like sustainability, with innovation, with our marketing activations. If I take one example, Barcelona 1992 – this was when we launched Powerade as a global sports brand, and it is now one of the biggest global sports drinks in the world. So, throughout these nearly 100 years of partnership, Coca-Cola has always used the Olympics as a platform to accelerate, grow and drive our business forward.

And what is Coca-Cola looking to beyond Paris 2024?

LA28 is going to mark the centennial of our partnership. For us, it’s an unprecedented milestone. And it’s perfect that it’s happening in our home country, the United States. So, we’re incredibly excited about what’s to come with LA28.


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