Coca-Cola Great Britain is celebrating 35 years of partnership with Special Olympics Great Britain and the staging of the Special Olympics 2013 National Games in Bath this month with an impactful marketing campaign that places intellectually disabled athletes centre stage.

Coca-Cola Great Britain has proudly supported Special Olympics GB for 35 years and its latest campaign further highlights the Company's commitment to investing in partnerships which support physical activity, delivering a 365 days a year legacy from the London 2012 Games.  Special Olympics GB as a charity delivers year-round sports training and competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities through a series of regional volunteer-run clubs.  With its official Opening Ceremony on Wednesday 28th August, the Special Olympics National Games will see more than 1,700 athletes from all across Britain gather in Bath to compete in 12 sports over three days, in the largest disability sports event of the year.

The through-the-line campaign aims to build awareness of Special Olympics GB and support for the National Games through twelve different athlete heroes representing each of the sports at the Games. The athletes’ iconic images from a photoshoot with sports photographer Graham Hughes will appear on outdoor and print advertising across the country including regional 6-sheet posters, bus sides, London Underground cross track digital sites, Facebook, national and regional print advertising in the run-up to the Games.  A film, shot behind the scenes at the photoshoot, entitled 'Let Me Win’, will feature online and across Coke’s social media channels. The film sees each athlete quoting lines from a poem based on the Special Olympics Oath, promising to embrace the spirit of the Games.

 In a first for the company’s charity partnership, Coca-Cola Great Britain commissioned a special creative treatment featuring the athletes for its world-famous Piccadilly Circus sign launching on August 14.  The creative counts down to the Games, using filmed footage of the athletes practising their sports, and aims to build awareness, support and anticipation for the Games on a national scale.

Liz Lowe, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain commented, “The National Games provide a terrific celebration milestone in our 35-year Special Olympics partnership and we’re putting an unprecedented level of marketing support behind helping the charity raise awareness of their Games this summer. Following on from the wave of enthusiasm the British public had for disability sport after the London 2012 Paralympics, we want to help Special Olympics GB achieve a fitting legacy of increased awareness and participation. There’s free admission to the National Games and through our campaign we’re encouraging everyone to get down to Bath and witness the inspirational determination and courage that these athletes display.”

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Great Britain also renewed its three-year partnership with UK charity StreetGames, to 2015, which continues the Company’s commitment to deliver a lasting legacy of grassroots sports participation following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since 2010, Coca-Cola Great Britain’s partnership with StreetGames has helped more than 110,000 young people from some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country access sports on their doorstep.

For further information about the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games visit www.bath2013.org.uk.

To see the Coca-Cola GB Special Olympics GB athlete photography and mini-film go to: www.coca-cola.co.uk/specialolympics

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For more information, please contact:
Katherine Dempsey - kdempsey@lexisagency.com / 0207 908 6402
Olivia Mcmonagle - omcmonagle@lexissgency.com / 0207 908 6466

Notes to Editors:

About Coca-Cola Great Britain:
Coca-Cola Great Britain is responsible for marketing 21 brands and over 100 products to consumers across Great Britain, with a focus upon developing new brands and extending existing brands including Coca-Cola (recognised as the world’s most valuable brand).  Other Coca-Cola Great Britain brands include Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Oasis, Glaecau vitaminwater, Oasis, Schweppes, 5 Alive, Lilt, Kia Ora, Relentless Energy Drink and Powerade. The Coca-Cola Great Britain portfolio is worth £2,086 million with value sales growth of 4.2% in the past year.  Within this, the My Coke trilogy (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero) is worth £1,157 million (Nielsen, w/c 19/01/13).  Coca-Cola Great Britain is committed to developing innovative, responsible and sustainable initiatives that help protect the environment.  Recently, the company launched its PlantBottle™ plastic made from up to 22.5% plant-based materials. For more information about Coca-Cola in Great Britain, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.co.uk

Special Olympics Great Britain: Transforming Lives through Sport

Special Olympics Great Britain is the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition for adults and children with learning disabilities, regardless of their ability. Through sport, the charity encourages every individual to become more self-confident, while improving their fitness, health and wellbeing.  Special Olympics provides a competition pathway that sees athletes progress from local and regional competition through to representing their country at a European and World level.  Often isolated, through Special Olympics people of all ages with intellectual disabilities can find acceptance and discover their potential. And for many they can find, that often for the first time in their lives, they have not only teammates, but mates.

For almost 35 years, Special Olympics GB has improved the quality of life of nearly 8,000 athletes in 135 clubs across England, Scotland and Wales, run by a dedicated army of over 4,000 volunteers.

In Great Britain there are an estimated 1.2 million people with a learning disability (an IQ of 75 or less). 200 babies will be born this week with a learning disability. They will face discrimination all their life.

Special Olympics competitions are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability in equitable divisions. National Games are held every 4 years alternating between Summer World Games and Winter World Games, and then European and International Games.

Special Olympics is the largest global sports training and competition programme in the world and operates in nearly 200 countries with over 3.5 million athletes. The global Special Olympics Movement began in 1968 when the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver (President John F. Kennedy’s sister) held a day camp for people with learning disabilities at her home in America.

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Special Olympics Athletes’ Oath

www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk
www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsGB
www.twitter.com/SOGreatBritain