Page 5: Football
Coca-Cola supports football at all levels - from youngsters lCearning their first skills - to the world stage. As the owner of the world's number one brand, The Coca-Cola Company feels a tremendous affinity with the world's number one game. Football is about fun, excitement, passion, pride and shared enjoyment and so is Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola's philosophy for supporting football is defined by the fans who are the consumers. This reflects the way that the Company operates and has helped Coca-Cola to become the world's most popular soft drink. This market driven approach involves listening to what people say and giving them what they want. The thing that millions of fans want passionately.... is football! Coca-Cola sets out to support football at every level of the game. On a global basis Coca-Cola has been a World Cup supporter since the 1978 tournament in Argentina, will be there in France in 1998 and into the next millennium.
In Europe, Coca-Cola is involved with the European Championship and played a prominent part in making the 1996 event in England such a success. In Great Britain, Coca-Cola has earned its place in the fabric of football, through its support of the England national team, the Coca-Cola Cups in England and Scotland and through grass roots development programmes. Since 1978, hundreds of thousands of young hopefuls have learned their first skills through the Football Association Coca-Cola Football Development Programme. For example, in 1996 over 180,000 youngsters joined FA soccer centres around the country, for fun, memorable events and for professional coaching and training.
Coca-Cola Fun Weeks, run in conjunction with FA coaches during school holidays, are now recognised as the number one organised summer activity in England for young people. Through these, and other programmes, youngsters can improve their skills and techniques, learn the essential values of good behaviour and fair play on the pitch in a fun, relevant and challenging way. These activities are backed by Coca-Cola's Football in the Curriculum campaign, bringing football to life in the classroom.
Whilst every one of these youngsters enjoys being part of the game, just a handful will fulfil their ambitions to become professional players. All of them, however, will go on to support the game at varying levels and some of them might even make it to the very top. Coca-Cola's support of young footballers was demonstrated by its creation of a 'Soccer Sixes' tournament to mirror Euro 96. Girls and boys six-a-side teams, aged 15 and under, from the 16 participating Euro 96 countries took part.
The initial groups were the same as the main competition and a mini Wembley Stadium was created on Clapham Common, with the final also on the 30th June. In the mid-1990s the Coca-Cola Cups are an important part of the sporting calendar in England and Scotland. Coca-Cola's aim was to enhance the game by enabling more fans to share in the excitement and passion that is Cup football.
During the period of Coca-Cola's support, live attendance at matches has risen by 11and TV audiences have grown by 16 Coca-Cola helped to create family enclosures which have made the game accessible to a wider audience and helped create better, unique occasions and experiences for and with fans. A great example of this is the Coca-Cola Cup final at Wembley where supporters' anthems are played, bringing fans together to express, as one, their pride and passion for their teams and their game. The result is a totally unique atmosphere.