Coca-Cola and Special Olympics Announce Roster of Celebrities and Footballers for "Special Olympics Unity Cup" Presented by Coca-Cola

His Excellency President Zuma of South Africa, Chinese Actress Zhang Ziyi and NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo Among Those in Match To Be Played During 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) South Africa

MARAKECH, Morocco--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) together with Special Olympics, is proud to announce an incredible roster of celebrities and football legends who will participate alongside 16 Special Olympics athletes in the inaugural match of the "Special Olympics Unity Cup" presented by Coca-Cola, at Cape Town Stadium just prior to a 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) quarterfinal match on 3 July. These participants include:

    --  Zhang Ziyi, Chinese actress and Special Olympics Global Ambassador
    --  Dikembe Mutombo, NBA legend and Global Ambassador
    --  His Excellency Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa
    --  Enrique Borja, Mexican striker for Mexican National team from 1966-1975
    --  Teofilo Cubillas, South American Player of the Year
    --  Desiree Ellis,former captain of South Africa's National Women's Football
        Team and FIFA Ambassador for 2010
    --  Lorrie Fair, first American women to play in Premier Women's League and
        played on USA World Cup Championship Team in 1999
    --  Kevin Keegan, player and former coach of several football teams in
        England, and manager of Newcastle United
    --  Christian Kerembeu,player on France national team from 1992-2002 and on
        FIFA World Cup Championship team
    --  Hidetoshi Nakata, Asia Player of the Year, AC Roma
    --  Lucas Radebe, former Leeds and South African player; former South
        African National Football Team captain
    --  Clarence Seedorf, of AC Milan
    --  Alan Shearer, former New Castle United and all-time Premier League goal
    --  Steve Sumner,former New Zealand 'All Whites' captain

Yesterday afternoon, key members of the Unity Cup presented by Coca-Cola joined for a photo opportunity as part of Special Olympics Global Congress that is currently being held in Marrakech to celebrate this roster of celebrities and global football legends.

Those members included executives Timothy P. Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman & CEO and Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company and SpeciaI Olympics International board member; as well as Unity Cup participants Ben Haack, Special Olympics' Australia athlete and Clarence Seedorf, global footballer of AC Milan.

"We hope that worldwide fans of football who have tickets to the quarterfinal in Cape Town will head to the stadium early that Saturday (3 July) to watch these celebrities and our athletes take the field," said Shriver. "Thanks to our global partner, Coca-Cola, we can turn the people's attention to football not only as a sport, but as a powerful agent of change that can unite people with and without intellectual disabilities."

The Special Olympics Unity Cup presented by Coca-Cola will be a 20-minute match held at 2:00 p.m. local time on 3 July, where these football legends and celebrities will take the field alongside Special Olympics athletes in an extension of the Special Olympics Unified Sports(R) program, which brings Special Olympics athletes together with partners without intellectual disabilities on teams for friendly athletic competition. The match will foster the message of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities.

"We are excited to have such an accomplished group of football legends and celebrities join us to help bring attention to how football can unite people," said Kent. "The Unity Cup is a testament to that power, bringing together our partners at Special Olympics and FIFA to shine a spotlight on the important values of understanding, acceptance and inclusion that we all share."

Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, The Coca-Cola Company has been an Official Global Partner. Coca-Cola supports the movement in an effort to showcase the dignity and capacity of people with intellectual disabilities on a global stage. The Coca-Cola Company is a FIFA Partner and has had a formal association with the governing body for world football since 1974 and has been an official sponsor of every FIFA World Cup since 1978. Coca-Cola has had stadium advertising at every FIFA World Cup since 1950 and is a long-time supporter of football at all levels, from grassroots to the FIFA World Cup(TM).

For more information about the Unity Cup, please visit:

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(R), recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R), Sprite(R), Coca-Cola Zero(R), vitaminwater(R), POWERADE(R), Minute Maid(R), Simply(R) and Georgia Coffee(R). 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

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to nearly 3.5 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in places like China and from regions like the Middle East to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at

NOTE TO EDITORS: All FIFA accredited media are welcome to attend the Unity Cup match and attend a press conference to be held immediately after the event at the Cape Town Stadium press room.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

    Source: The Coca-Cola Company