Industry giant, The Coca-Cola Company, is without a doubt, one of the most renowned global beverage corporations that has repeatedly proven its position as a market leader.
From being just a caramel-color elixir in 1886 to a leading beverage juggernaut, Coca-Cola has become the fifth most valuable brand in the world.
The success of the company is credited to its extensive product portfolio, global operations, vision and in developing a strong presence where its target market gathers for fun.
Globally, The Coca-Cola Company has associated itself with food, music and sports, emerged as a powerhouse aiming to increase consumer value.
Coca-Cola’s Historical Bond With Sports
We all know that Coca-Cola and sports share a historical relationship, an association so close that it dates back to nearly a century.
Over the years, it has been able to consistently make inroads in the sports industry with multiple partnerships in the dynamic sphere including the London 2012 Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
In the sub-continent, Coca-Cola reaped major glory by being the official sponsor of the 1996 World Cup, held in India and Pakistan. So much so, this milestone encouraged the company to helm the Sharjah Cups aka Coca-Cola Cup for three years consecutively from 1997-1999.
From the year 1999, the beverage giant explored more in the realms of food and music, producing powerful platforms like Coke Studio and the ever-growing, Coca-Cola Food and Music Festival. However, the company’s temporary distance from cricket did not affect its market share.
Coca-Cola Making it Big in Cricket Yet Again
For some time, Pepsico remained the only brand in the subcontinent with major cricket sponsorships under its belt.
However, Coca-Cola has now successfully re-entered the territory and made its mark in the area, deepening its connection with cricket.
Taking Pakistan Super League (PSL) Fever to New Heights with Sprite
This year, Sprite sponsored four PSL teams; Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United becoming the official ‘thirst quencher’ for the cricket leagues.
The brand announced the major feat in an avant-garde event in Karachi, attended by industry veterans like Waseem Akram and Zaheer Abbas.
What’s more, in an impactful marketing move, Sprite brought in the popular sports presenter Zainab Abbas as the brand ambassador for their PSL campaign.
A charasmatic personality, Zainab has been synonymous with the adrenaline-pumping event since its inception. Consequently, her ambassadorship with Sprite is bound to bring in exposure for the brand.
Upping the ante, Sprite has released a star-studded TVC, featuring the true stars of Pakistan’s cricket – Hassan Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, and Imad Wasim.
The outcome of their PSL marketing campaign has been spectacular, generating unique engagement with cricket aficionados.
To engage the audience even further, Sprite rolled out exciting contests under Pass The Phadda campaign for fans to avail final PSL tickets.
It required the PSL lovers to upload a video of them playing cric-tennis with their friend for 1 minute straight without dropping the ball.
Making it even more exciting, Sprite roped in international cricketers with the massive fan base in Pakistan to promote the campaign.
Joining Forces With International Cricket Council (ICC)
The winning shot for Coca-Cola was becoming the official sponsor of ICC. The company has become their exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partners until 2023, including the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in summers of 2019.
This deal has strategically helped The Coca-Cola Company to develop a long-term relationship with cricket. It will use the strength of its diversified portfolio of over 500 brands to expand the sport’s footprint globally
If truth be told, the beverage titan has amplified the affinity and loyalty it has with its target market with Sprite’s partnership with PSL.
However, this is just the start. The company has already planned a lot in regards to cricket in Pakistan. Let’s see how Coca-Cola and Sprite’s resurgence becomes a harbinger of change for the passionate sport in the nation.