Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games History
The Coca-Cola Company and the modern Olympic Games have enjoyed a mutual growth and common historical bonds. In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton invented the secret formula for Coca-Cola. Six years later, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, of France, conceived the idea for a new Olympic Games. In 1896, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, with 311 athletes from 13 nations. At the same time, Coca-Cola was becoming available outside the United States.
The 1928 Olympic Games, which included 46 nations, marked the beginning of The Coca-Cola Company's Olympic involvement - a presence that would ...view middle of the document...
The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games marked the debut of the modern Olympic Torch Relay, with the Olympic Flame being delivered from Olympia, Greece, to Germany. A young Harvard University graduate, J. Paul Austin, competed in the Games for the U.S. Rowing Team. Austin went on to become president, CEO and chairman of The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola sponsored the 1936 Games, which were followed by a 12-year hiatus surrounding World War II.
The Olympic Games resumed in 1948 in London. Overcoming lingering effects of the war that made local bottling and transportation difficult, Coca-Cola shipped equipment from Glasgow, Scotland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, to meet the thirsty demands of athletes and spectators in England.
In conjunction with the 1952 Olympic Winter Games, Coca-Cola bottlers provided Oslo residents with their first look at a helicopter. The aircraft initially was used in a fund-raising effort for Norwegian athletes and then to direct traffic during the latter part of the Games.
Despite the fact that Finland did not have a local bottler, Coca-Cola still was served to athletes and spectators at the Helsinki Olympic Games. More than 30,000 cases of Coca-Cola were brought to the event from the Netherlands aboard the M.S. Marvic, a rebuilt World War II landing craft, in what became known as "Operation Muscle." Ice coolers and trucks from the corners of northern Europe also were brought in, turning the ship into a floating stockroom. Coca-Cola donated much of the product for sale by the Disabled Ex-Servicemen Association.
Coca-Cola bottlers in Melbourne provided more than 100,000 sun visors to fans entering the Olympic Stadium, while 420 venders sold ice-cold Coca-Cola throughout the Olympic Games venues.
SQUAW VALLEY 1960
While the underdog U.S. ice hockey team surprised the world with a gold medal performance, spectators at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games were served Coca-Cola in 12-ounce cans for the first time.
During the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italian bottlers of Coca-Cola showed their support by presenting thousands of athletes, officials, media and spectators with an original, 45-rpm recording of the favorite song of the day, "Arrivederci Roma."
The Coca-Cola Company published a history of the Olympic Winter Games for athletes, officials and visitors at the Innsbruck 1964 Olympic Winter Games.
The Company continued its tradition of enhancing the Olympic Games experience for the fans and media at the 1964 Tokyo Games with the production of guide maps, street signs, sight-seeing information and a Japanese-English phrase book. The translation guide was so popular that it was used as a template for the 1968 Games in Mexico City, the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
The Coca-Cola Company joined other U.S. corporations as a sponsor of national...