Coca-Cola to Present Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay As Olympic Flame Travels Global ''Journey of Harmony''
A Round-the-World Voyage for the Beijing Olympic Flame
The Olympic Flame will travel around the world next year, in a prelude to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. And Coca-Cola once more will support the event, as a worldwide partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, for the sixth time in 12 years.
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) today unveiled the ambitious, global itinerary for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay - a voyage themed "The Journey of Harmony."
Beginning in late March 2008, the Olympic Flame will be shared with citizens in at least 19 cities across the world -- as well as Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau. Following its round-the-world tour, the Olympic Torch Relay will travel throughout mainland China, prior to arriving in Beijing, host city for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Coca-Cola, which first became a presenting sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay for the Atlanta 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, will co-present the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay with Samsung and Lenovo. All three companies are Worldwide Partners of the International Olympic Committee and sponsors of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
"The Olympic Torch Relay is truly a magnificent event, and Coca-Cola is proud to be involved again for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games," said David G. Brooks, General Manager, 2008 Olympic Project Group, Coca-Cola (China) Beverages Ltd. "The Torch Relay builds awareness and anticipation for the upcoming Olympic Games, and it has become a symbol of optimism that connects people across different cultures."
Coca-Cola will integrate its global advertising campaign "Coke Side of Life" in all marketing communications for the Olympic Games through the theme of "Live Olympic on the Coke Side of Life." The message is an invitation to live on the positive side of life and shares the values of inspiration and the belief that an individual can make a difference that are also embodied in the Olympic spirit.
2008 Torch Relay Route
By tradition, the Olympic Flame will be ignited by the sun's rays in the ancient Greek city of Olympia. The flame will be lighted March 26, 2008, and delivered to Beijing on March 31.
Beginning April 1, the Olympic Torch Relay will travel around the world for 33 days, visiting the following cities (subject to change): Almaty (April 2); Istanbul, (April 3); St. Petersburg (April 5); London (April 6); Paris (April 7); San Francisco (April 9); Buenos Aires (April 11); Dar es Salaam (April 13); Muscat (April 15); Islamabad (April 16); Mumbai (April 17); Bangkok (April 19); Kuala Lumpur (April 21); Jakarta (April 22); Canberra (April 24); Nagano (April 26); Seoul (April 27); Pyongyang (April 28); Ho Chi Minh City (April 30); Taipei (May 1); Hong Kong (May 2); and Macau (May 3).
On May 4, 2008, the Olympic Flame will return to mainland China for a major cross-country portion of the Olympic Torch Relay that will last more than three months. This segment of the event will cover areas with more than 750 million people (nearly two-thirds of China's population). The Torch Relay will pass through 113 cities in 31 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
On Aug. 8, 2008 the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay Presented by Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo will culminate with the lighting of the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium of Beijing, signaling the start of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.
BOCOG officials estimate that approximately 22,000 torchbearers will participate in the Torch Relay, including 2,600 in the countries and territories outside of China. Five thousand escort runners also will be recruited for the Olympic Torch Relay inside mainland China only.
The Coca-Cola Company will again play a role in inviting local communities to nominate inspiring local people to be torchbearers for the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay in China and other host cities.
Torch Relay Legacy Grows
This event marks the sixth time Coca-Cola has served as a presenting partner of the Olympic Torch Relay. Coca-Cola also presented the Atlanta 1996, Nagano 1998, Salt Lake 2002, Athens 2004 and Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relays.
The Company's first official involvement with the Olympic Torch Relay occurred with the introduction of the International Olympic Torchbearers Program, sponsored by Coca-Cola, for the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. The program - developed in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee, the Barcelona Olympic Organizing Committee and various National Olympic Committees - was a turning point in modern-day Torch Relay tradition: it marked the first time that people from other countries were invited to participate in the Torch Relay in the host country of the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Torchbearers Program has been repeated several times since 1992, including the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
Coca-Cola has been continuously associated with the Olympic Games since 1928 - longer than any other corporate sponsor. In August 2005, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Olympic Committee announced the renewal of their historic partnership for an unprecedented 12 years, from 2009 through 2020.
Under the renewed agreement Coca-Cola has extended its support of the Olympic Movement from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the Olympic Games of 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. The deal also effectively lengthened the most-enduring partnership in the history of the Olympic Games to 92 years without interruption.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
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Source: The Coca-Cola Company
Released April 26, 2007