Coca-Cola’s Premier League Gamble

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Coca-Cola’s Premier League Gamble

We all love coke, right? Right. Some may say Pepsi is better, but what do those blasphemers know about the South’s favorite beverage. Despite Coca-Cola outselling Pepsi, their other lines of beverages are lacking behind Pepsi’s more popular alternatives. As Coca-Cola’s growth is slowing, Pepsi’s is picking up, putting enormous pressure on CEO, James Quincey.

To help combat this, Coca-Cola is launching a multi-million dollar, three-and-a-half-year campaign with the Premier League. This is the giant’s largest sports sponsorship in the UK and is part of their wider plan to promote growth outside its core brand and to increase sales of their low/no-sugar variants. Who will be the stars of this campaign you may ask? Well quite simply, “everyday people”.

In the UK, the Premier League is just as popular (if not more so) as the NFL is to Americans. This means a very large portion of the population is in-tune with whats going on in the sport. The advertisement is remarkably personal and touches on many emotions for those in love with “The Beautiful Game”. “Where Everyone Plays” comes into the picture once one realizes that football fans (from janitors and groundskeepers to spectators and players) are what make the game so wildly popular and competitive. It’s a known fact that the Premier League is the most competitive football league in the world, making them a perfect market to promote Coca-Cola’s products.

Paul Grace ( Coca-Cola’s marketing director for the UK) and Jon Woods (Coca-Cola’s Great Britain GM) have both emphasized the importance of raising awareness of Coca-Cola’s wider range of drinks so that they can suit more consumers on more occasions. This is a way for the company to bring back into the spotlight brands that historically received little support; Woods also indicated that this was only the beginning of multi-brand campaigns.

All of this is possible due to the Premier League shifting its strategy and dropping its title sponsor approach in favor of multiple brands. Some other brands alongside Coca-Cola are: Barclays (former title sponsor), Cadbury, Nike, and Carling. Only time will tell if Coca-Cola’s new approach will have a notable impact on brand awareness or sales.


Joyce Ro

Joyce Ro

February 17, 2019at 12:50 am

It was interesting to learn that Coca Cola is behind on sales in comparison to Pepsi regarding their other lines of beverages. It is often easy to think that Coca Cola as a brand is more popular and widely used that Pepsi; however, every company struggles in some aspect or another. I am optimistic about this new campaign in the UK as I think that it will help boost their sales and expand their popularity in other countries around the world. The campaign also seems lighthearted and has great emotional appeal with its focus on the everyday people that make the Premier League possible. Great post!

Tristan Otto

Tristan Otto

February 18, 2019at 1:55 pm

I really enjoyed this post! I think as Americans, it’s easy for us to focus so much on products we are exposed to daily, so it’s always interesting to learn why companies might expand international efforts. In addition, I think we fail to see how companies can be effective in international markets because we think the MLB or NBA are worldwide brands. The lagging sales stat is fascinating to me, and I like that they turned to a large international sporting crowd to try to boost sales!

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