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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11,7 million students from all over South Korea competed to create best design for the pin in honor of the Games’ Opening Ceremony.
5 millions of audience
joined to listen to the latest Olympic updates live from on
For the very first
time, the Olympic Torch Relay sponsored by Coca Cola brought together people
from different countries.
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.
Olympic Torch Relay of 1996
became the longest in the history of the Games: it covered 24 140 km of
For the first time in
the history of the Games on top of their usual ice-cold soft drinks
58 radio stations from
13 countries came together with Radio
Salt Lake City, 2002
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.
Along with the already
traditional Olympic Torch Relay (10,000 people ran this time),
At Beijing Games of
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
To bring the Olympics
closer to the youth,
Coca-Cola prolongs partnership with International Olympic Committee
On August 1 of 2005 The
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