ICC & Coca-Cola team up to celebrate cricket through a global partnership

Coca-Cola to rally the nation and reignite the love for cricket across Sri Lanka

The ICC and Coca-Cola recently announced that they have entered into a global strategic partnership to celebrate one of the world’s most popular sports – cricket and its premiere events. The partnership will entail The Coca-Cola Company’s brands becoming exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partners of the ICC and all of its tournaments for the next five years.

In the run-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Coca-Cola is calling on fans to rally around the Sri Lanka Cricket team and cheer them on as they relive the glory days of the game and set out to make their mark through the “Drink of Togetherness” campaign. The Company also announced a consumer engagement initiative named “From Cap to Cup”, which will provide Sri Lankan cricket fans with a chance to win an opportunity to enjoy the “ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 – England & Wales” live.

The details of the tie up were announced at a press conference that took place at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. The partnership will also strategically align both organizations for the long-term by combining the strength of The Coca-Cola Company’s diversified portfolio of over 500 brands as well as its worldwide reach with ICC’s unwavering focus to expand the sport’s footprint globally.

The Chief Guest at the launch event, Hon. Harin Fernando – Minister of Telecommunications, Foreign Employment and Sports, stated: “The game of cricket forms the sporting heartbeat of the nation. All Sri Lankans must come together and cheer on our lions during the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign. I wish to especially thank Coca-Cola for stepping forward to support Sri Lankan Cricket and for taking the initiative to rally the nation together in wishing our cricket team success during their endeavor to regain the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.”

Commenting on Coca-Cola’s ongoing support of the game, Chryshantha Kapuwatte – Assistant Secretary, Executive Committee Sri Lanka Cricket stated: “Coca-Cola has had a long-standing history of nurturing the sport of cricket in Sri Lanka. Not only is the company the present Official Carbonated Beverage Partner of Sri Lanka Cricket, Coca-Cola was a global partner of cricket during the country’s win at the 1996 Cricket World Cup. The company has also contributed to the development of the game at a grassroots level through The Coca-Cola Cricket Pathways Programme, which has helped to nurture and groom the next generation of cricketing stars from across the island. We look forward to working with Coca-Cola on this campaign to foster a spirit of togetherness in support of the national cricket team.” 

Commenting on the partnership, Manu Sawhney – CEO, International Cricket Council stated: “We are pleased to partner with Coca-Cola and take our mutual passion for the sport of cricket to even more people across the world. We look forward to fans across the region, coming together to cheer on their teams at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and be part of the greatest ever celebration of our sport.”

Speaking on the occasion, Sundeep Bajoria – Vice President, South West Asia Operations, Coca-Cola, said: “Cricket is a global sport and a passion that is shared by more than a billion people. A love for this game transcends beyond gender, generations and cultures. In-line with our long history of partnering with major sporting events globally, our strategic partnership with the ICC, reinforces our long-standing commitment to refresh sports fans and enhance their entertainment experiences.”

The partnership in its first phase, unfolds in Sri Lanka through an Under the Cap (UTC) campaign. To participate in the campaign, all consumers have to do is pick up a Coke, Sprite or Fanta, look under the special yellow caps and SMS the unique Coke code under the cover to 2343. Throughout the campaign period, 30 lucky winners will get an ICC World Cup ticket from Coca-Cola Sri Lanka. Additionally, the company will also give away 600 smartphones to consumers through a digital raffle draw which will be conducted throughout the campaign period. The campaign will be active from April 1st 2019 to June 1st 2019.

“Consumers are at the heart of Coca-Cola’s beverage portfolio. The company is acutely attuned to their preferences and continuously looks at innovative ways to connect people with our brands. As part of our partnership with the ICC to inspire moments of optimism and happiness amongst consumers, we will also offer fans a chance to watch the 2019 ICC World Cup matches live. The objective of this partnership and exciting campaign is to connect all fans of cricket, our consumers, the brands and the everlasting love for the game of cricket in Sri Lanka, together. We hope that this campaign will highlight Coca-Cola’s spirit of togetherness and help us to all support, cheer for and uplift our players as they vie for the trophy in London.” said, Pankaj Sinha – Managing Director, Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Private Ltd.

The five-year agreement with the ICC includes all ICC tournaments around the world including the ICC World Cup in England & Wales, the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020, the upcoming U19 World Cup Cricket, the ICC Women’s World Cup and the ICC World Cup in India in 2023 amongst other global tournaments. The Coca-Cola Company has an eight-decade long association with the Olympics, a four-decade long partnership with FIFA and links spanning 25 years with World Cup Rugby. The associations stem from Coca-Cola’s philosophy and commitment to being a part of consumers’ lives and their passions.