Communicating through the "world game", for brand and corporate reputation
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

Page 1: Introduction

Football is the 'world game' and Coca-Cola is the brand name of the world's biggest selling soft drink, so it is hardly surprising that the two have become closely linked. Coca-Cola has a long history of supporting and working with people and organisations seeking to develop football at all levels. From this lengthy relationship, the Company has a deep understanding of the game and of the...
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Page 2: Communication

Communication is the process of putting messages across to a targeted audience. For effective communication to take place, the sender of the message must: be clear about the intended message use an appropriate medium for that particular message e.g. mail, TV advert, Internet, public address system present the message clearly and unambiguously. The intended recipient(s) must be: able...
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Page 3: Coca-Cola and its levels of football communication

Coca-Cola addresses audiences at four different levels. Grass roots - Young people want opportunities to play football in a safe, organised, and fun environment. Recognising this, Coca-Cola is involved with the English and Scottish Schools Football Association tournaments. For example over 2,000 schools from across England enter the under 13's, 11 a side tournament involving approximately...
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Page 4: Barriers to effective communication

Corporate support for football and interest in football sponsorship takes place in a crowded market place, with many different brands competing for attention, so it would be all too easy for messages to become blurred and confused. 'Noise' describes any obstacle to the smooth transmission of a communications message. Coca-Cola works hard to limit these obstacles and barriers, but not everything...
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Page 5: Some notable communication successes

Coca-Cola has made its messages effective by following carefully the rules of good communication and also the maxims: 'Know your audience, and how best to address it.' 'Know your market: what makes it tick, and what turns it off.' As a knowledgeable 'insider', the Company is well educated in the different worlds within the one game. Thus, its activities and approaches with, say, the Schools...
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Page 6: Evaluating effective communication

The Company uses several means of evaluating the success of its communications programmes including: audience response to local initiatives e.g. pupils involved in local football coaching and football competitions - how positive have they been about their experience? reach - how many people have been involved in football initiatives supported by Coca-Cola? opportunities to see and absorb...
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Page 7: Conclusion

For organisations looking to build relationships with customers, and to offer financial and material support to sports to which they are committed, it is not enough to be 'well meaning'. It is also important to be well informed and professional in approach. There are guidelines to be followed, rules to be observed, disciplines to be maintained. Coca-Cola has developed a good understanding...
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