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Coca-Cola Invites People to 'Connect with the World Over a Coke' in Celebration of the 2008 Olympic Games; U.S. Program Enhances Olympic Games Experience for Fans

May 19, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-With three months to go until the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Coca-Cola is inviting people in the United States to celebrate the Olympic Ideals of unity, optimism and inspiration. Long before the first medals are awarded in August, Coca-Cola will build excitement for the Olympic Games with the launch of a multi-faceted Olympic-themed program in the United States. Anchored by a group of high-profile U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls, limited edition Olympic-themed packaging and online experiences, the program is designed to bring fans together to celebrate the spirit and camaraderie associated with the world's biggest sporting event."Together, Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games have shared and promoted the values of unity, optimism and inspiration for 80 years,"said Hendrik Steckhan, president and general manager, Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America."For the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, we're continuing that legacy of engaging the world. By combining Coca-Cola cans in different languages with six amazing athletes, we've created a program that celebrates global communities coming together and the unifying spirit of the Olympic Games and Coca-Cola."Connect With The World Beginning May 19, Coca-Cola will give Americans a 'taste' of how Coke is enjoyed around the world with the release of limited edition, Olympic-themed collectible cans and FridgePacks bearing the iconic Coca-Cola logo in different languages, including Ethiopian, Russian, Thai, Mandarin, and of course, English. This new packaging marks the first appearance of the Coca-Cola script in different languages in the United States, with new designs appearing every two to three weeks. Hitting stores simultaneously, 20-ounce Coca-Cola bottles will feature labels with multiple languages including those of the Untied States, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Korea, Nepal and Sri Lanka."Six-Pack"of Athletes To connect U.S. consumers with the spirit and excitement of the upcoming Olympic Games, a special Coca-Cola"Six Pack"of athletes will be featured on collectible packaging and in-store materials. The"Six Pack"includes Olympic gold medalists Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Steven Lopez (taekwondo) and Sanya Richards (track , field); Olympians LeBron James (basketball) and Andy Potts (triathlon); and Olympic hopeful Shawn Johnson (gymnastics). Leading by example, the athletes also are serving as Coca-Cola"Ambassadors of Active Living"to help encourage and inspire people to lead active, balanced lives. Advertising In New York, five of the Coca-Cola"Six Pack"of athletes"filmed special NBC vignettes that will air during the summer to raise awareness of the collectible Coca-Cola packaging. These vignettes will join other Olympic-themed ads from Coca-Cola this summer, including a commercial that celebrates the 80-year relationship between Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games. Online Olympic Experience MyCoke.com will be the destination for teens looking to interact with Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games in a fun, global way. Visitors can design their own digital Coke bottle to share with others around the world, learn about the Coca-Cola"Six Pack"of athletes, download wallpaper and screen savers, and enter a sweepstakes for a snowboarding trip with Olympic medalist Gretchen Bleiler to Vancouver, the site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The site also will feature"WE8,"a global collaboration between eight exciting visual artists and eight progressive musicians to create eight limited-edition aluminum bottle designs and free, downloadable companion songs. Over the summer, thousands of samples of the special aluminum bottles will be shared with visitors at Simon Malls across the country. Also, loyal Mycokerewards.com members can redeem their points for Olympic gear, learn about the collectible cans and bottles, download Olympic packaging collector's sheets, watch video interviews with the Coca-Cola"Six Pack"of athletes,"and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a U.S. Olympic Training Center tour with an Olympic athlete. About Coca-Cola and the Olympic Movement The Coca-Cola Company has been an Olympic partner for 80 years and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. The Company works with National Olympic Committees in more than 200 countries to help athletes train and compete. More than 90 percent of the Coca-Cola system's investment in the Olympic Games is directed to athlete development and to assist in staging the Olympic Games. Throughout the Olympic Games, products of The Coca-Cola Company refresh athletes, volunteers, officials and spectators. The Coca-Cola Company is the exclusive nonalcoholic beverage partner to the Olympic Games through 2020. About The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, Coca-Cola is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where it operates. For more information about the company, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com. About the USOC The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the sole entity in the United States whose mission involves training, entering and underwriting the full expenses for the U.S. teams in the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. In addition to being the steward of the U.S. Olympic Movement, the USOC is the moving force for support of sports in the United States that are on the program of the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. For more information, please contact the USOC Media and Public Relations Division (719/866-4529). This release also is available on the USOC's public web site ( and our media-specific web site (http://usocpressbox.org). For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529.