POWERade to become official NASCAR sports drink

POWERade brings 'very real power' to NASCAR Coca-Cola's popular sports drink to become official sports drink of NASCAR ATLANTA, May 2 -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) today ...

POWERade brings 'very real power' to NASCAR
Coca-Cola's popular sports drink to become official sports drink of NASCAR

ATLANTA, May 2 -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) today announced that POWERade has been named the Official Sports Drink of NASCAR, beginning with NASCAR's 2003 season.

Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed. When the agreement becomes effective, Coca-Cola will hold official-status sponsorships as NASCAR's official soft drink (Coca-Cola Classic), juice (Minute Maid), water (Dasani) and sports drink (POWERade). The addition of POWERade to Coca-Cola's NASCAR marketing platform further expands the company's long and successful partnership with NASCAR.

"Our relationship with NASCAR is a true partnership in which both organizations have worked together to grow our brands, and NASCAR's continued rise to the top of the sports world is a testament to the France Family's vision and leadership," said Sandy Douglas, president, North American Division, The Coca-Cola Company. "The addition of POWERade to our NASCAR marketing efforts further strengthens our successful partnership and we look forward to bringing the 'Very Real Power' of POWERade to this exciting sport."

"We welcome POWERade to the NASCAR family and look forward to working with our partners at Coca-Cola through an even broader marketing partnership," said Brian France, NASCAR's executive vice president. "We chose POWERade as NASCAR's Official Sports Drink because of Coca-Cola's demonstrated commitment to innovative marketing that builds the NASCAR brand, and as a tribute to the depth of our relationship with the premier sports marketer in the world."

Since 1998, Coca-Cola's extensive marketing program around NASCAR has included NASCAR-themed packaging, point-of-sale, groundbreaking advertising, promotions, premium merchandise, and much more.

"Coca-Cola has demonstrated a unique ability to bring NASCAR to life through its superb advertising, marketing and retail activation," said Brett Yormark, NASCAR's vice president, corporate marketing. "Our decision in 1998 to award Official Soft Drink status to Coca-Cola has been pivotal to the growth of NASCAR. Because of our close partnership and the strength of our combined assets -- great brands and great competition -- today more than 75 million Americans identify themselves as NASCAR fans."

The cornerstone of Coca-Cola's involvement in NASCAR, the Coca-Cola Racing Family, is a collection of the most popular drivers on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and a few of the sport's rising stars. Extended family members also include team owners and spouses.

Members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family make public appearances and are featured in print, radio, television and online advertising campaigns in addition to appearing on vending machines, packaging, billboards, Coca-Cola merchandise and collectibles and life-size display signs. The drivers also have demonstrated their acting talents in fun pre-feature entertainment pieces, seen in more than 10,000 movie theaters across the country.

Since Coca-Cola first became the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR in 1998, successful programs have included:


* 125,000,000 NASCAR-themed commemorative bottles
* Over 50,000 NASCAR-themed vending machine fronts
* 265,000,000 custom packages and/or boxes
* A cross promotion with Home Depot that included the creation of Tony Stewart vending machines
* Customized NASCAR programming for local markets and bottlers

Coca-Cola Classic is the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR and the sponsor of The Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Through its association with tracks and race teams, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners have been involved in NASCAR for more than 30 years. The Company sponsored cars from 1969-76 and 1990-94 under the Coca-Cola and Mello Yello brands, respectively.

-nascar-

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Series Automotive , NASCAR
Drivers Tony Stewart