Coca-Cola and the modern day Olympics share a lot of common history in how and where they started off and grew into something of world’s importance. It’s not surprising they are so tightly linked now in their activities and in people’s minds.

On May 8 of 1886 an American druggist John Pemberton from Atlanta came up with the ‘secret formula’ of Coca-Cola. It was just 6 years away from the moment when Pierre De Coubertin decided to revive the Olympic games for the modern generations. The International Olympic Committee was established on June 23d of 1894, and in 1896 the modern Olympics were carried out for the very first time in the Greek Athens where 311 sportsmen came to participate from 13 countries. That was almost exactly the moment Coca Cola stepped out of the US and started international sales.

We have put together a timeline of the most significant and exciting facts shared by both the Olympics and Coca Cola.

•                 Our partnership with the Olympics started in Ambsterdam

Amsterdam, 1928

The romance between Coca Cola and the Olympics was born during the games in Amsterdam in 1928 when the US national team and 1000 boxes of Coca Cola shared a voyage over the Atlantic to make a hit in the Old World. Bottles filled with the magic beverage were sold in special booths right next to the Olympic stadium.

•                 The bage of 1932 is a rarity and a desired valuable for Olympic regalia collectors.

Los Angeles, 1932

Over two hundred teenagers in white gloves were offering Coca Cola to 105,000 visitors of the Los Angeles Coliseum. In 1934 swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, Olympic gold winner of 1924 and 1928 (later he became a famous actor), was the first Olympic figure to start promoting our beverages. Together with actress Maureen O’Sullivan he posed for the company’s posters and branded trays for beverages.

Berlin, 1936

The Olympics of 1936 was the first one to be preceded by the Olympic Flame Relay. The Flame was delivered from the Greek Olympia straight to Germany. Young Harvard graduate J. Paul Austin went to the Olympics as part of the American national team. Later on Austin became president(1962), CEO (1966) and then Chairman (1970) of the Coca Cola Company.

London, 1948

The World War 2 brutally interrupted the usual flow of the Games and they only came back in 12 years’ time. It was in London in 1948. The aftermath of the war made it hard to provide sufficient supply and distribution of Coca Cola at the main venue of the Games. They even had to urgently move all the needed equipment from the neighboring Glasgow and Belfast to quench the ever growing thirst for Coca Cola among both the participants and the visitors of London Olympics

Helsinki, 1952

Coca Cola did not have its own production in the territory of Finland at the time. It did not, however, hinder the growing love for the beverage during the Games. M.S. Marvic landing ship brought trucks packed with 30,000 boxes with Coca Cola. The company also printed menus for the residents of the Olympic Village as well as it presented them with branded backpacks and cooling bags.

Melbourne, 1956

To protect the visitors of the Melbourne Olympics 1956 from the burning heat of the Australian sun, Coca Cola handed out more than 100,000 visor caps and set up 420 spots to sell ice-cold beverage. The company also posted ads to newspapers to attract their fans to attend first ever Olympics conducted in the South Hemisphere

Squaw Valley, 1960

American hockey team, initially despised as a guaranteed outsider, shocked everybody with a brilliant game and won its first golden medal. That’s as the spectators of the winter games of 1960 were provided with a chance to enjoy their favorite beverage in a new packaging – aluminum cans of 0,354Lt

Tokyo, 1964

To find their way in Tokyo, to see the best sides of this fascinating city and to be on time to all of the Olympic events – all of this was made possible by Coca Cola company who issued a special guiding map, information booklets, Japanese-English conversation book and installed bilingual street sigs all over the city. The idea to use informational materials had such a great success, it got employed many times later during the Games in Sapporo, Nagano, Mexico City and Munich.

Grenoble, 1968

Coca-Cola sponsored first ever televised broadcast of the Olympic Games and remained the only company who sponsored both summer and winter games in one year.

Our futuristic dispenser-backpacks made Coca Cola experience yet more enjoyable.

Mexico City, 1968

Coca Cola promoters came to Mexico City tribunes to make a splash – they were wearing weird-looking backpacks dispensers that looked very cosmic. Space theme was extremely trendy those days and the Olympics visitors immediately started to call Coca Cola team ‘astronauts’. Meanwhile, television became more and more popular and Coca Cola commercials led the Olympics straight into homes of millions of viewers.

Munich, 1972

Coca-Cola company was responsible for meals for the whole of 15,000 of sportsmen and officials who came to Munuch Olympics. In the US, the company issues a special series of medals named “Great Olympic Moments” and forwards all the profits to the American Olympic Committee to support the national team.

Montreal, 1976

To honor the host of the Olympics in 1976, Coca Cola Canada bought a horse named Regardez and donated it to the Canadian Equestrian Team.

Lake Placid, 1980

The company carried out the national fundraising tour for the United States Olympic Committee together with the world’s first ever figure-skating robot – known as Kobot. Olympic Coca-Cola Radio was launched to update millions of audience with the latest results of the competitions.

Moscow, 1980

Coca Cola was the official drink of the Moscow Olympics and millions of the Soviet Union citizens got their first chance to taste the popular beverage.

Sarajevo, 1984

Coca Cola did not have its own production facilities in former Soviet states when the Olympics kicked off. To supply the guests of the event, 1.1 million of cans were brought to Yugoslavia from Holland, Germany and Austria

Coca-Cola and Sam the Eagle greeted the world in Los Angeles in 1984.

Los Angeles, 1984

Coca-Cola was the key corporate sponsor of Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games. In the year prior to the Games the company carried out a whole series of promotion youth programs to get kids from underprivileged families plugged into the Olympic movement.

Coca Cola tray in honor of the Olympic Games of different years issued in 1988.

Calgary, 1988

In 1988 the company created Coca Cola World Chorus to perform at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of winter games in Canadian Calgary. The Chorus was made up of 43 young people from 23 counries recruited through competitions held by local Coca Cola bottlers. The Chorus performed the Olympic signature song “Can You Feel It” to the great enjoyment of the viewers both in Calgary and those watching the games on TV from around the world.  

Seoul, 1988

11,7 million students from all over South Korea competed to create best design for the pin in honor of the Games’ Opening Ceremony.

Albertville, 1992

5 millions of audience joined to listen to the latest Olympic updates live from on Coca-Cola Radio.

Barcelona, 1992

For the very first time, the Olympic Torch Relay sponsored by Coca Cola brought together people from different countries. Coca-Cola gave 150 torchbearers from more than 50 states a chance to get involved in the exciting event. They were selected through the national contests in their respective countries.

Lillehammer, 1994

In 1994 the Coca Cola Polar Bear was featured for the first time during the Lillehammer Winter games. It grew to become Coca Cola’s most popular celebrity character.  

Atlanta, 1996

Olympic Torch Relay of 1996 became the longest in the history of the Games: it covered 24 140 km of distance. Coca-Cola played the key role in torchbearers selection. Or course, the company could not ignore the fact the Olympics took place in Atlanta, the host city of Coca-Cola headquarters. A very special Olympic Coca-Cola Town was build specifically for the games along with a few other entertainment complexes that welcomed thousands of people.

Nagano, 1998

For the first time in the history of the Games on top of their usual ice-cold soft drinks Coca-Cola was offering hot beverages. 20 ‘hot spots’ were settled at the Olympic venue serving the so-called Georgia Coffee, the brand that belonged to Coca-Cola.

Sydney, 2000

58 radio stations from 13 countries came together with Radio Coca-Cola to send live reports from the Games. For those Australians who could not be physically present in Sydney, Coca-Cola arranged big events in every big city. They were called Coca-Cola RedFest and provided live broadcast of the main Olympic Events.

•                 Air-Js of Coca-Cola Radio were broadcasting from our studio in Park-City.

Salt Lake City, 2002

In 2002 Coca-Cola Company marked 10 years of its Olympic Torch Relay sponsorship by selecting more than 3,500 torchbearers who participated in the 65-day long run which was 21726 kilometers long. The Relay went through the territory of 46 American States. The company also invited the world known artist Peter Max who created a gigantic mosaic dedicated to 2002 Olympic Games. His artwork was donated to become the property of the Salt Lake City. 700,000 people got a chance to feel what it means to be an Olympian at the special interactive simulators.

Athens, 2004

In Athens 2004 Coca-Cola kept on with its tradition of creating magic moments for both sportsmen and spectators both in Greece and around the world. The company was the key sponsor in the longest ever Torch Relay in the Games history. The Olympic Flame traveled through more than 30 cities on 5 continents and returned to Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. "Pass the flame, unite the world" became the signature song of the Games.

•                 This ski simulator provided a lot of fun to fans from Turin.

Turin, 2006

Along with the already traditional Olympic Torch Relay (10,000 people ran this time), Coca-Cola came up with a whole bunch of new things and surprises for both visitors and participants of the Games. In Turin, the company encouraged the Italians to ‘live like Olympians”, Coca-Cola cans learned to talk, Polar Bear promo campaigns were excitingly successful.

Beijing, 2008

At Beijing Games of 2008 Coca-Cola launched its most diversified packaging series in the history of the company (for that moment). Besides, the company set up a whole number of experimental tents and special events for spectators both in Beijing and 6 other biggest cities of China.

Vancouver, 2010

In Vancouver 2010 Coca-Cola served nearly 4 million ideally cold drinks to the Games visitors. Over 200,000 of them were downed in a specially installed Coca-Cola pavilion dedicated to the environmental initiatives of the company.

London, 2012

To bring the Olympics closer to the youth, Coca-Cola launched Move to the Beat™ initiative that connects music and the Olympic sports. Producer Mark Ronson and performer Katy B went around the world together recording the sounds of different Olympic cities and mixing them up. The journey resulted in the musical composition called «Anywhere in the world» – the song that fully reflected the spirit of the Olympic London 2012.

 Coca-Cola prolongs partnership with International Olympic Committee

On August 1 of 2005 The Coca-Cola Company and the International Olympic Committee announced they will continue its historic cooperation for the next 12 years. The agreement came into force in 2009 naming Coca-Cola the key official soft drink partner of the Games all the way up to 2020. By that time it will make the timeline of the partnership that started back in 1928 impressive 92 years long without a single break. According to the agreement, Coca-Cola will be providing full support to the Games to be held in the coming 8 years. It has already covered Games in London, the company is taking care of the Sochi Games that are happening now, as well as it will include Summer Games in Rio-de-Janeiro in 2016 and the Olympics of 2018 and 2020.