Coca-Cola signed by Premier League as seventh official partner

Multiple brands in Coke’s portfolio set to be promoted through soccer sponsorship

Coca-Cola's British and Irish subsidiary has signed a new 3½-year sponsorship with the English Premier League, kicking off from January 2019.

The company will use the partnership to promote multiple brands within its portfolio rather than just concentrating on Coke itself.

The beverage company will become the seventh official partner of the Premier League alongside the existing line-up of EA Sports, Barclays, Cadbury, Carling, Nike and TagHeuer.

While the value of the deal was not disclosed, it is understood to be the biggest ever sponsorship for Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland.


"We have a long and rich history supporting football at all levels, from the grassroots to the world stage," said general manager Jon Woods.

“The partnership gives us the opportunity to showcase the range of drinks we offer.”

As well as the original Coke brand, the sponsorship will be used to raise consumer awareness of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Glacéau Smartwater, fruit drink brand Oasis, iced tea brand Fuzetea, the Schweppes range of mixers, Fanta, Fanta Zero and Sprite.

Coca-Cola is also expected to use its association with the Premier League to promote its 100 per cent recyclable packaging, while it will also put its name to a “tour” of the Premier League trophy.

The Coca-Cola Company, the global parent headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded in 1886, has been a top-tier partner of worldwide football body Fifa since 1974.

Premier League managing director Richard Masters said the brand had "an excellent track record" of football sponsorship and that the competition would benefit from Coke's "huge reach".

The marketing push follows the soft drinks giant's move late last month to buy Costa Coffee from Whitbread, a £3.9 billion (€4.4 billion) acquisition that will give Coke an international hot beverages brand for the first time.

It also comes amid a consumer shift away from sugary, fizzy drinks, which has prompted Coke to both diversify its portfolio and allocate more of its marketing budget to its no-sugar varieties.

Coca-Cola was recently ranked the best-selling brand in the Irish grocery sector for the 14th consecutive year in Checkout Magazine's Top 100 Brands list compiled by Nielsen.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics