THE COCA-COLA COMPANY EXTENDS ITS SPONSORSHIP OF NHRA’S PROFESSIONAL SERIES; NAMES MELLO YELLO AS SERIES FLAGSHIP BRAND
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 29, 2012) – NHRA announced today that The Coca-Cola Company has extended its relationship with the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body and will continue its longstanding association as title sponsor of NHRA’s premier series through the year 2018. In addition, it was announced that beginning in 2013, Mello Yello®, The Coca-Cola Company’s popular citrus-flavored soft drink brand will be the new series title sponsor: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Sharon Byers, Senior Vice President Sports and Entertainment Marketing Partnerships at The Coca-Cola Company, and NHRA President Tom Compton jointly made the announcement in downtown Indianapolis at Monument Circle on the eve of the start of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus, the world’s largest and most prestigious drag racing event.
“The Coca-Cola Company and our bottlers have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the NHRA,” said Byers. “Together, we have created a successful formula for many Coca-Cola brands to connect with the NHRA’s passionate and dedicated community. We know this trend will continue with the addition of Mello Yello—which boasts its own faithful following—to the equation.”
Throughout the decade-long partnership, the NHRA has helped Coca-Cola deliver growth for multiple brands in the portfolio. For the past four seasons, Full Throttle® Energy Drink has been the lead brand on the NHRA’s signature series. Full Throttle will continue to play a key role in Coca-Cola’s 2013 NHRA activation.
“The Coca-Cola Company has been a cornerstone of the sport since 2002 and this extension ensures our partnership will continue through at least 2018,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. “Over the past 11 years working with The Coca-Cola Company and the bottlers we have developed a deep professional and personal relationship. Transitioning to a brand as powerful as Mello Yello is exciting on a number of fronts and the vision the brand team and the bottlers have shared with us regarding their plans to leverage this sponsorship will provide an extended reach nationwide for the sport of NHRA Drag Racing.
Coca-Cola North America announced preliminary plans that will deliver the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with much broader outreach. As the cornerstone of the sparkling beverage reintroduction into the world of motorsports, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will receive unprecedented activation and increased visibility nationwide.
Mello Yello has a storied history as an active sponsor in the world of auto racing and 2013 will mark the popular brand’s return to motorsports. Mello Yello enjoyed a successful relationship with Kyle Petty in stock car racing from 1991 to 1994.
“During our brief run in motorsports, Mello Yello was at the top of its game. The anticipation of returning the brand to its roots has created a palpable enthusiasm across the entire Coca-Cola system to begin activating against the NHRA, the most powerful motor sport on the planet,” said Michael Mathews, vice president, Non-Colas Sparkling Marketing, Coca-Cola. “Fans of Mello Yello are all about good times with friends, and that is certainly delivered by the NHRA’s high octane excitement and thrilling race days.”
The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule also was announced.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.