May 18, 2011: With just over a year to go to the 2012 Summer Olympics, Coca-Cola is ramping up activation to get its message out around the world.
Coke said it has signed "a high profile group of Olympic champions and Olympic hopefuls" to form the Coca-Cola “Eight-Pack” of Athletes for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The group includes tennis star John Isner and Shawn Johnson, regarded as one of the top women gymnasts in the world.
Coca-Cola is an official partner of the U.S. Olympic Committee and is also among a short-list of companies that are official worldwide marketing partners of the International Olympic Committee.
In addition to their role as medal contenders for Team USA, the athletes will also serve as "Coca-Cola Ambassadors of Active Living to help encourage and inspire people to lead active, balanced lives."
The “Eight-Pack” will be featured next year on special Coca-Cola in-store materials and advertising, according to the beverage giant. Specific plans for how the “Eight-Pack” will be featured in the Coca-Cola 2012 Olympic Games program will be revealed in the future.
This is the third consecutive Olympic Games in which Coca-Cola has included a collection of athletes as part of the brand’s Olympic program. Previous have featured six athletes.
The increase in athlete endorsements coincides with the company recently evolving its packaging lineup to include eight-packs of 90 calorie mini-cans.
The “Eight Pack” includes:
David Boudia: Silver medalist in men’s platform (10M diving) at 2008 FINA Diving World Cup and winner of 14 national diving titles; 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials 10M Dive Champion; member of the 2008 Olympic Team
Henry Cejudo: 2008 Olympic gold medalist in 55kg freestyle division (wrestling); youngest American wrestler ever to win an Olympic gold medal at 21 years of age.
Marlen Esparza: 2010 U.S. national champion in women’s boxing; gold medalist at the 2008 Pan American Games; longest winning streak at the U.S. nationals and undefeated in every U.S. event competed in the last five years; number one ranked female amateur flyweight boxer in U.S. for the last five consecutive years
John Isner: Currently ranked 39th in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) standings; winner of record-breaking singles tennis match at Wimbledon which lasted for 11 hours and 5 minutes; widely recognized as having one of the hardest serves on the ATP Tour
Shawn Johnson: Winner of one gold and three silver medals in women’s gymnastics at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games; member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team; three-time gold medalist at the 2007 World Championships in All-Around, Floor, and Team; and four-time gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games in All-Around, Balance Beam, Floor and Team; and 2008 Olympic Trials All-American champion
Jessica Long: Seven-time Paralympic Gold medalist in women’s swimming; member of 2004 and 2008 U.S. Paralympic Teams; 2008 Paralympian of the Year; seven-time World Championship gold medalist and two-time silver medalist in 2010
Alex Morgan: Drafted number one overall in the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft; youngest member on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team
David Oliver: Beijing 2008 Olympic medalist in men’s 110M hurdles; member of 2008 U.S. Olympic team; 2010 Male Track & Field Athlete of the Year; 2010 U.S. Outdoor Champion.