Coke Zero 'Hires' Four Fans Who Never Back Down To Follow All Of NCAA(R) March Madness(R) From San Antonio

Four Devoted Fans Selected For the Coke Zero Ultimate Dream Job and Chance to Attend NCAA Men's Final Four(R) with Legend Sean Elliott


Coke Zero told four devoted NCAA basketball fans the news they were hoping to hear -- "You're hired!"

After an intense two-week-long 'job search' that invited qualified candidates from around the country to submit 'resumes' explaining how they never back down when following the exciting action of NCAA March Madness, Coke Zero has made its decision. Accepting offers to relocate to San Antonio, site of this year's NCAA Men's Final Four, for three weeks to watch every minute of the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship are: Steven Book, from Rochester Hills, Mich.; Ryan Hohanshelt, from Boone, Iowa; Stacey Rice, from Oswego, N.Y.; and Dustin Tinney, from Ft. Worth, Tex.

"Just like Coke Zero never backed down when it created a cola with real Coca-Cola taste and zero calories, true NCAA basketball fans never back down in their devotion to March Madness," said Caren Pasquale Seckler, group director, Low Calorie Colas, Coca-Cola North America. "We've 'hired' a group of passionate individuals who we feel are best suited to complete their challenging job duties in San Antonio."

On Sunday, March 16, the four new 'hires' will take up residence at 'CokeZeroVille,' located beneath the official giant Coke Zero NCAA Tournament Bracket at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. From that moment until Saturday, April 5, they will reside in a 40-foot Coke Zero-branded motorcoach outfitted with six flat-screen televisions, satellite television service and AT&T broadband Internet access -- all the tools necessary for them to carry out their new job assignments.

Their daunting task is to follow every 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship game on television and via NCAA March Madness on Demand, and maintain a daily blog at detailing their experience and analyzing the tournament.

If the fans are able to persevere during their three-week assignment of late nights and endless tournament consumption, former University of Arizona student-athlete, Sean Elliott, will escort them to the Alamodome on Saturday, April 5, where they will experience the thrills of the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball semifinal from prime lower-level seats.

Applicants for the Coke Zero Ultimate Dream Job submitted short essays demonstrating how they never back down in their dedication to NCAA March Madness and a photo showing their fan spirit. Fans can visit to view profiles of the four participants and learn about their job qualifications.

"Through this unique experience, Coke Zero is celebrating the key role that fans play in fueling the excitement of NCAA basketball and March Madness," said Greg Shaheen, NCAA Senior Vice President for Basketball and Business Strategies. "Though certainly challenging, this is a dream opportunity for any NCAA basketball aficionado and we're excited to watch these four candidates follow the NCAA Championship action in San Antonio."

After Selection Sunday(TM), the four new 'hires' also will use the Coke Zero Bracket-O-Matic to help them fill out their individual NCAA March Madness brackets. For the second season, fans who visit, can use a special online tool powered by a complex formula of mathematical algorithms to weight different preferences -- such as 'Offensive' vs. 'Defensive,' 'Dynasty vs. Cinderella' and 'Senior' vs. 'Frosh. Based on their selections, the Bracket-O-Matic then automatically populates their bracket.

Coke Zero's broad NCAA March Madness program is designed to tout the brand's real Coca-Cola taste and zero calories. Key elements of the program include packaging and point-of-sale materials adorned with special 2008 NCAA Men's Final Four graphics, numerous retail programs, branded vignettes that air during NCAA basketball game broadcasts, and extensive brand sampling and activation in San Antonio.

Coca-Cola is an Official NCAA Corporate Champion, the Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA and a partner with the NCAA in an 11-year association that includes beverage marketing and media rights to all 88 NCAA Championships.

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 beverage 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

About the NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 380,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit and for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions -- AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac -- and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners --DiGiorno, Enterprise, The Hartford, Lowe's, Sheraton and State Farm.

(NCAA, Final Four, Selection Sunday and March Madness are licensed by or trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.)

Source: The Coca-Cola Company