Thursday, July 3, 2008

It’s Free Coke Zero for Fans Across U.S. If One of 13 NASCAR® Drivers Wins Inaugural Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

BUSINESS WIRE--For members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, each victory in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ race is traditionally followed by a thirst-quenching chug of an ice cold Coke Zero in the winner’s circle. This weekend, 13 of the sport’s top drivers will attempt to give fans around the country their own “taste of victory” by taking the checkered flag in the inaugural Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway (July 5, 8:00 p.m., TNT).

The Coke Zero “Taste of Victory” program will give fans an added incentive to pull for their favorite Coca-Cola Racing Family members during this weekend’s race. If any one of 13 drivers sponsored by Coca-Cola wins, people across the United States will be able to enjoy the Real Coke Taste and Zero Calories of Coke Zero for free.

Participating Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers include Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Elliott Sadler, Jamie McMurray, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and David Ragan. Terry Labonte also is eligible as the driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and substitute for Coca-Cola Racing Family member Kyle Petty, who is in the TNT broadcast booth this weekend.

Coca-Cola drivers have won the July race at Daytona five of the last six years – including McMurray’s victory last season – and currently hold six of the top 12 spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ point standings.

If a Coca-Cola Racing Family driver takes the checkered flag Saturday night, fans will be able to visit July 5 through July 13 and follow the instructions to receive a coupon for a free 20-ounce bottle of Coke Zero (a).

“Coke Zero is the only soft drink that delivers real Coke taste and zero calories, and we’re really rooting for one of our drivers to deliver a taste of victory to millions of people this holiday weekend,” said Bill Kelly, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Brands, Coca-Cola North America. “It would be a great way to top off the first-ever Coke Zero 400 with a celebratory toast in Victory Lane.”

“It’s pretty common for the winning driver to spring for a round of drinks after the race, but we’re taking things to a whole new level for the inaugural Coke Zero 400,” said two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ Champion Tony Stewart. “It would be pretty cool to come through for race fans with free Coke Zero. I hope to be in Victory Lane Saturday night telling millions of people that drinks are on me.”

The “Taste of Victory” program is one of many ways Coke Zero has taken a prominent role in NASCAR® this year. Title sponsorship of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola serves as the centerpiece for the brand’s expanded presence in the sport, and an online voting contest recently allowed fans to select the new race logo. In addition, marketing efforts have included the launch of Coke Zero’s first-ever NASCAR®-themed advertising campaign, driver appearances, high-visibility track signage, at-track sampling and much more – all promoting the brand’s core message – Coke Zero has “Real Coke Taste and Zero Calories.”

Since its launch in 2005, volume for Coke Zero continues to accelerate. Among 350 sparkling beverage brands launched since 2001, Coke Zero is one of only six to surpass 1% market share, and the only one to maintain it – with a current share of 1.5%. By using irreverent, humorous communication and delivering Real Coke Taste and Zero Calories, Coke Zero has established a strong connection with young adult males and achieved the highest trial of any recently launched Coca-Cola North America brand.

The debut of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola is part of a 10-year sponsorship agreement between Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) and International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Through a variety of track partnerships, brands from CCNA will be refreshing fans at 13 race tracks in 2008 before expanding to 17 race tracks by 2012. Coca-Cola is the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR and has been involved with stock car racing for more than 40 years. A signature part of Coca-Cola’s innovative NASCAR program is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – a collection of veteran drivers and rising stars. In addition to the Coca-Cola sponsored drivers participating in the Coke Zero 400, the Coca-Cola Racing Family includes fan favorite Kyle Petty and recently retired former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Dale Jarrett, who will be serving as grand marshal for this weekend’s race.

(a) Coupons for free 20-ounce bottles of Coke Zero will be redeemable until September 1, 2008 at participating retailers across the country where Coca-Cola products are sold. Limit is one coupon per person. All U.S. residents 13 years of age or older are eligible.

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