Coca Cola has extended its partnership with international sport to become a worldwide Paralympic partner.
The brand already has the same designation with the Olympic Games and has done so for almost a century since first appearing at a Games in Amsterdam in 2028.
Becoming a worldwide partner does not automatically mean an advantage for local Olympic and Paralympic Committees. In certain cases, major brands do choose to extend partnerships at local level as has been the case in Paralympics Ireland through Allianz and Toyota.
At other times though it can be a barrier, preventing the local committee from signing deals that would be in direct competition with one of the partners. In this case, it means that Pepsi or Red Bull would likely be excluded from any meaningful partnership with Paralympics Ireland.
Coca-Cola Japan was an existing Gold Partner of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the highest tier of the domestic sponsorship programme.
The new agreement encompasses worldwide marketing rights to the IPC and Paralympic Games until 2032.
It is a direct consequence of the IOC-IPC long-term collaboration agreement signed in 2018 and will help communicate the transformational impact of the Paralympic Movement to a whole new audience.
As part of the agreement, the two organisations will look to explore purpose-driven marketing campaigns.
“At the IPC, we believe that change starts with sport and that Para sport can foster a more inclusive world,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons.
“We know The Coca-Cola Company shares our belief – they have been a supporter of the Paralympic Movement and our Games for decades, and their recent commitment to support the Japanese National Paralympic Committee during the COVID-19 pandemic shows how much they value Para sport. We look forward to working with Coca-Cola over the coming years on initiatives that can benefit our athletes around the world.”
For Tokyo 2020, Coca Cola is expected to execute its most significant portfolio play to-date, leveraging a team of elite Olympic, Special Olympic and Paralympic athletes from 25 countries around the world.
The new platform will be the first global Olympic marketing campaign by the company to showcase a portfolio of beverages to consumers. In Japan, Georgia coffee, Ayataka green tea, Ilohas water and Aquarius sports drink will join Coca-Cola Original Taste. Each market will have its own team representing five local brands across multiple categories.
Additionally, as part of the company’s Olympic and Paralympic partnership, Coca-Cola Japan also launched its athlete donation program in June to support the Japan National Team due to impacts caused by COVID-19.
Last year, The Coca-Cola Company extended its Olympic sponsorship to 2032 in partnership with Chinese dairy producer China Mengniu Dairy Company. The new agreement extended marketing rights for the IPC and the Paralympic Games, as well as the Youth Olympic Games.