Merlin Entertainments plc (Merlin), Europe’s leading visitor attractions operator, and Coca-Cola Great Britain, announced today an exciting new commercial partnership. From January 2015 Coca-Cola will become the new sponsor of London’s premier modern attraction, the London Eye.

The deal includes full naming rights; and brings together two iconic brands. The London Eye is a world-famous landmark which has been a focal point for celebrating national events such as the Millennium, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic Games. Coca-Cola meanwhile is one of the world’s best known and best loved brands, with products sold in over 200 countries.

Jon Woods, General Manager of Coca-Cola UK and Ireland, said:
“We are delighted to have secured the sponsorship of the London Eye, an iconic London landmark known around the world. This reaffirms our long standing and successful relationship with Merlin Entertainments plc.

“We have a rich history in London, from our sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through to the many brand campaigns that have launched in the capital over the decades.   Sponsoring the London Eye, an iconic landmark that has its own unique history, will help us play an even greater part in future moments of happiness and celebration in the capital.”

" We are looking forward to working with the Coca-Cola team. First to create an exciting new joint identity designed to maximise opportunities on both sides of the partnership, to promote our brands, and create memorable moments for all our customers. This will be unveiled mid-January when the attraction reopens after its annual two week maintenance period, and the partnership begins." David Sharpe, Merlin Entertainments’ Divisional Director London Midway Attractions

Commenting, Merlin Entertainments plc CEO Nick Varney said: “The London Eye is Merlin’s premier global attraction and increasingly a key visual icon of modern London, particularly since the Olympics. We are therefore delighted and proud to be partnering with an organisation and brand of the quality and reputation of Coca-Cola. We have always believed that working with the London Eye offered unique and compelling opportunities for the right partner, particularly one that believes in inspiring people as much as we do, and so for us Coca-Cola is the perfect sponsor.

“We feel we will be linking the London Eye name with an organisation which not only reflects the same values as our own, spreading happiness around the world, but which also brings something new and exciting to the party.  Most of all, we very much look forward to working together to create great value experiences and events for our customers.”

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For further information:

Merlin Entertainments plc
Sally Ann Wilkinson/Penny Roberts
+44 20 8899 6110/+44 20 8948 3725/07774 415 372
saw@thefirmcomms.com
par@thefirmcomms.com

Coca-Cola Great Britain
Andy May/Scarlett Yianni
0207 260 2705/0207 260 2700
ccgb@theopen-road.com

London Eye
Sahrette Saayman
+44 870 220 2777/07968 9989 37
sahrette.saayman@londoneye.com

Notes to Editors

Coca-Cola Great Britain
Coca-Cola Great Britain is responsible for marketing 23 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 one of the world’s most valuable brands).

Other Coca-Cola Great Britain brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Life, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Oasis, Glaceau vitaminwater, Glaceau smartwater, Schweppes, 5 Alive, Lilt, Kia Ora, Relentless Energy Drink and Powerade. The Coca-Cola Great Britain portfolio is worth £2,095 million with value sales growth of 4.8% in the past year. Within this, the My Coke trilogy (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero) is worth £1,162 million (Nielsen, w/c 20/04/13).

In 2013, Coca-Cola announced four global business commitments to inspire happier, healthier communities. These commitments are to: make low and no calorie options available in every country; market responsibly, including no advertising to children under the age of 12; provide transparent nutritional information, including calorie content, on the front of our packs; and help get people moving by supporting physical activity programmes in every country.

Coca-Cola Great Britain is committed to developing innovative, responsible and sustainable initiatives that help protect the environment. The Company has 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.

Merlin Entertainments plc
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 104 attractions, 11 hotels/3 holiday villages in 22 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 20,000 + employees.

Among Merlin’s attractions are - SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.

The London Eye
The London Eye is centrally located in the heart of the capital, gracefully rotating over the river Thames opposite Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.  At 135m, the London Eye is the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel; a feat of design and engineering it has become the modern symbol representing the capital and a global icon. The experience showcases breathtaking 360 degree views of the capital and its famous landmarks and has been the number one visitor experience in the city for the past decade.

The constant and graceful movement of the London Eye gives visitors an ever changing perspective of the best city in the world enhanced by interactive guides to assist guests with information on landmarks in several languages.  An experience on the London Eye will lift you high enough to see up to 40km and keep you close enough to see the spectacular details of the city unfolding below you.

Included in all London Eye experiences is the spectacular 4D cinema show, featuring the first ever 3D aerial footage of London and the famous London NYE fireworks.