Coca-Cola Unleashes Summer Fun and Refreshment at 2010 ESSENCE Music Festival Presented by Coca-Cola

Mary Mary, Joe and Lalah Hathaway to Headline Coca-Cola Super Lounge

Coca-Cola Will Continue as Presenting Sponsor of ESSENCE Music Festival With New Three-Year Agreement Extension

NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Few cities have as much heart or a spirit as resilient as New Orleans, and Coca-Cola is joining the community in a weekend full of cultural celebration and empowerment at the 2010 ESSENCE Music Festival presented by Coca-Cola. Once again, Coca-Cola is the presenting sponsor of the Festival and is tapping into the excitement to offer a lively series of activities throughout the weekend. In addition, Coca-Cola and ESSENCE are celebrating a new three-year sponsorship agreement under which the brand will continue as the Festival's presenting sponsor and official non-alcoholic beverage through 2012.

"The ESSENCE Music Festival presented by Coca-Cola continues to provide the opportunity for us to put ice-cold Coca-Cola in the hands of thousands of African Americans as they enjoy a weekend full of music and fun with friends and family," said Yolanda White, assistant vice president, African-American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. "Over the next three years, the growth of the Festival will present new opportunities for us to effectively connect with African Americans."

This year, Festival attendees will refresh themselves with ice-cold Coca-Cola, enjoy delicious food and entertainment at the Taste the Celebration cookout hosted by DJ Biz Markie and listen to great live performances at the Coca-Cola Super Lounge by Mary Mary, Joe, Lalah Hathaway and more. Coca-Cola will also have three Happiness Stations that feature R&B and hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and Doug E Fresh, step team performances hosted by Chilli, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef G. Garvin and more.

As a special way to honor and recognize ESSENCE Magazine's 40th anniversary, Coca-Cola has also created a commemorative glass Coca-Cola bottle for the occasion, which will be distributed at the Happiness Stations during the weekend-long activities.

Coca-Cola activities include:

Youth Outreach Program
Coca-Cola will participate with other sponsors in the Festival's youth outreach program featuring messages of empowerment. Speakers will share stories of their personal triumphs, and Coca-Cola will bring in entertainer Lil Chuckee to perform. Teens will have the opportunity to win prizes and will receive premium giveaways.

Happiness Stations
Coca-Cola will have three Happiness Stations set up throughout the convention center to refresh and excite Festival-goers. Station activities will include karaoke, DJ mix sessions, dance and step team demonstrations, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef G. Garvin and more.

Taste the Celebration
Hosted by DJ Biz Markie, this event will allow more than 1,500 Festival attendees to enjoy delicious summer favorites and refreshing Coca-Cola beverages. The invitation-only special event includes an array of dishes prepared by local New Orleans grill masters.

Coca-Cola Super Lounge
As the host of one of four Super Lounges, Coca-Cola will provide live entertainment to attendees. Artists include Mary Mary, Irvin Mayfield and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Joe, Rebirth Brass Band, Lalah Hathaway and Ivan Neville and Dumpstafunk.

Mainstage Moments
To keep the excitement going, Coca-Cola is hosting three "Mainstage Moments" to give fans another opportunity to enhance their experience. Each night during the concert, Coca-Cola will have a call-to-action that will allow people to win tickets to the Taste the Celebration barbecue and upgrade their seats to the front row.

Coca-Cola and ESSENCE Celebrate First Multi-Year Partnership Commitment

Coca-Cola and ESSENCE are excited to continue their relationship by extending the agreement under which Coca-Cola is the presenting sponsor and official non-alcoholic beverage of the ESSENCE Music Festival for another three years. With this agreement, ESSENCE Festival Productions, producer of the music Festival, and Coca-Cola are strengthening their long-term relationship and building for a stronger future.

"With 2010 marking the 40th Anniversary of ESSENCE Magazine, this is an exciting time for us to announce our commitment to the ESSENCE Music Festival. This is an unprecedented cultural event that we are proud to be a part of and look forward to supporting every summer," said White.

Coca-Cola has shown tremendous dedication to the music Festival as its presenting sponsor for the past 15 years. The newest sponsorship agreement includes this year's Festival and continues through 2012.

"We are excited to extend our association with Coca-Cola via the ESSENCE Music Festival's first multi-year partnership commitment," said Michelle Ebanks, President, ESSENCE Communications, Inc. "The support of Coca-Cola has been invaluable in establishing the ESSENCE Music Festival as a world-class cultural event and we will continue to work together to create one-of-a-kind experiences around music, arts and community for our loyal attendees."

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. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

    Source: The Coca-Cola Company