LONDON: The world’s football stars will not be the only ones competing for glory at this year’s World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Coca-Cola will also be running hard.
The US soft-drink giant, facing lower sales in North America, is an official sponsor of the 20th World Cup, considered along with the Olympics as one of the world’s top sporting events.
Coca-Cola plans a marketing blitz with commercials featuring football stars and jingles celebrating the football extravaganza. The beverage maker has also sponsored a tour of the FIFA World Cup trophy that will visit 90 countries overall.
Soft-drink consumption in Brazil remains relatively low on a per-capita basis. So far there has been scant attention paid to concerns about potential health ills from the carbonated soft drinks that have hit US sales.
Coca-Cola expects to invest $7.6 billion in Brazil between 2012 and 2016 to build its soda-making and distribution businesses.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based giant holds 27 percent of the market in non-alcoholic drinks in Brazil, a sector estimated at $43 billion in 2013 and which could grow by six percent through 2017, according to analysts at Trefis.
The World Cup, which starts June 12, is expected to be watched by four billion fans worldwide, according to IEG.
Major advertising is planned not only for the company’s iconic soda brands, such as Coke and Diet Coke, but also for other beverages, like its Dasani water brand and Minute Maid fruit juices.