The Coca-Cola Company has been appointed official soft drink of Rugby World Cup 2015, extending its successful sponsorship of rugby’s showcase event stretching back to 1995.
Under the deal, the Coca-Cola Company will make its water (glacéau smartwater) and Powerade sports drink brand available to hydrate the world’s top 20 teams as they compete to win the coveted Webb Ellis Cup.
With exclusive soft drink pourage rights at all Rugby World Cup 2015 venues and fanzones, the world-renowned brand will also be keeping fans hydrated as they cheer on their favourite teams.
The partnership was announced at an event in London as Coca-Cola unveiled former Ireland and British and Irish Lions star Brian O’Driscoll as the brand’s ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2015, who participated in a surprise training session for young players.
Coca-Cola has been an ever-present at Rugby World Cups since South Africa’s historic victory on home soil in front of Nelson Mandela in 1995 and the 2015 deal underscores the continued strength and appeal of the Rugby World Cup brand in the global sponsorship marketplace.
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be extending our long and successful partnership with Coca-Cola as official soft drink.
“With rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world and Rugby World Cup playing a pivotal role in inspiring future fans and players we are delighted to be working with a brand that shares our passion for the sport and its character-building values.”
World Rugby Head of Commercial, Broadcast and Marketing Murray Barnett added: “The Coca-Cola Company is a long-term partner of World Rugby. It is a testament to the strength of Rugby World Cup, and rugby as a sport that Coca-Cola is continuing to support the tournament in 2015.”
Paul Dwan, General Manager of the Coca-Cola team for Rugby World Cup 2015, said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 looks set to be the biggest ever; we’re delighted to be a part of it to celebrate the excitement and passion the tournament will generate. The game enjoys fantastic support and we hope that through our sponsorship we can bring rugby to an even wider audience next year.”
O’Driscoll added: “I'm really excited to be working with Coca-Cola for Rugby World Cup 2015 and see this as an opportunity to bring the game to a wider audience. As a former professional sportsman, I’m a passionate believer in the importance of leading an active, healthy lifestyle and understanding the benefits of physical activity. I believe we can really harness the excitement of rugby in 2015 to inspire people to move more.”
The Coca-Cola Company announcement follows the appointment of Heineken, Land Rover, Société Générale, DHL, Emirates and MasterCard as Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partners, Gilbert as Official Ball Supplier, Canterbury of New Zealand as Official Sportswear Supplier, Clifford Chance as Official Law Firm, EY as Business Advisor, Canon as Official Sponsor and Sportfolio as Master Licensee.