It’s early on a Monday morning, and the weather is far from beautiful.
But amid the torrential rain and gales of wind, Coca-Cola’s London office is gearing up for a very special event. On a red podium, in front of a row of rugby balls, each representing a different country, stands this year’s most sought after sporting prize, the Webb Ellis Cup.
Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2015, and to mark less than a month to go until the Tournament kicks off, employees and associates at Wimpole Street are being treated to a celebratory breakfast with their friends and family.
Coca-Cola employees and associates, and their family and friends, gather around for a special Rugby World Cup 2015 breakfast.
For some guests it’s their first time at Coke HQ, and you can see the look of intrigue and excitement on their faces as they’re given a tour of the office, taking photos of the various items from the archives and mixing drinks from the Freestyle machine. It’s like a scene from a well-known film, minus the trap doors and river of Coca-Cola.
The first thing on the morning agenda includes having your photo taken with the Webb Ellis Cup, and, in true British fashion, people start to form an orderly queue that stretches around the corner of the room. The photographer takes his professional snaps, while the impatient pull out their smartphones and go straight to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Caught red-handed: President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Coca-Cola Company, James Quincey, taking a photo of the Web Ellis Cup.
When breakfast is over, a buzz begins to emanate within the building. Whispers of “Thom Evans” and a popular TV show start to emerge. People home in around a pair of empty seats next to a giant inflatable rugby ball, as the production crew test whether a microphone works. And then, as if by magic, in waltzes Home Nations rugby star Thom Evans.
The room goes silent as the former Scottish international rugby union player joins the crowd, and prepares to talk about the upcoming Tournament. He also takes a few questions from the audience. Most ask about his rugby career and his thoughts on who’ll win Rugby World Cup 2015, but the odd question about his dancing skills slips through the net, causing him to smile. He answers it enthusiastically, as if expecting it, and the crowd laughs along.
Rugby legend, Thom Evans takes a few questions from the audience
After the Q&A, Evans mingles with his new group of fans, signs a few shirts and then takes to the inflatable rugby challenge – the third item on the agenda. Here, guests try their luck at scoring a goal by passing a Rugby World Cup 2015 Coca-Cola Gilbert rugby ball through one of the holes in the net (which is easier said than done). A few tips from Thom and everyone soon gets the hang of it, especially the youngsters in the room, who leave feeling inspired and with a new perspective on the sport.
Thom Evans lends a hand to those taking on the inflatable rugby challenge.
It’s not the first time Coca-Cola’s held special events to bring together employees and associates, and their friends and families, to celebrate campaign moments. It’s a fantastic way for colleagues to get to know one another, and feel fuelled by the activity in the office. All we need now is an ultra HD, supersized TV screen to watch the matches on.