Fact #1:Coca Cola was the first corporate sponsor of the Olympic Games, signing on in 1928 at the Games held in Amsterdam. They have remained corporate sponsors ever since and have paved the way for other companies to sponsor the Games. Additionally, they have been the corporate sponsor of any FIFA organized events, such as the Soccer World Cup, since 1978. On top of that, Coca Cola has developed relationships with the MLB, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL and individual teams in these leagues. All in all, Coca Cola has a long history of sports sponsorships. According to company, their reasoning behind their Olympic sponsorship in particular is interesting:
We are a business and our role as official soft drinks provider enables us to showcase the range of drinks we offer and sell these at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. However, this is just one of the reasons we sponsor the Games. Our sponsorship is rooted in celebration and participation, which allows us to build deeper relationships with the people who enjoy our products. Though our sponsorship of London 2012 we gave people the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame, and our VIP ticket promotions have given thousands more the chance to share in the magic of the Games.This sheds some light on the company's overall marketing strategy and personality, which is deeply rooted in connecting with their customers on a personal level. In fact, Coca Cola spends more money on advertising ($2.9 billion in 2010) than Apple and Microsoft combined ($691 million and $1.6 billion in 2010 respectively).