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IOC, Coca-Cola and Mengniu reach first-ever joint TOP partnership

By Vicky Huang 26 Jun 2019

June 24: The International Olympic Committee, the Coca-Cola Company and China Mengniu Diary Company Limited have reached a first-ever joint TOP partnership agreement, as announced by the IOC on their official website. This historic 12-year partnership will commence from 2021 and run through until the 2032 Olympic Games. 

Under this deal, the IOC has combined the non-alcoholic beverage and the diary categories into one new category for the TOP partnership. 

This is the first time that a Chinese diary product brand has become an IOC Worldwide Top Partner. The new deal also enables Coca-Cola to become the longest continuous partner of the Olympic Games (104 years). The original agreement between Coca-Cola and the IOC will end in 2020 and now with this new innovative partnership in place, Coca-Cola and Mengniu will both be associated with IOC, the Olympic Games, the International Paralympic Committee, the Paralympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games for the 12-year duration. 

According to the Financial Times, James Quincey, the chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola, revealed that they will be activating their own individual marketing plans. FT also reports that the overall value of the entire partnership is close to US$3bn including media spending. 

Mengniu has been listed on the HKEX since 2004. In 2009, China’s leading agribusiness holding group COFCO (Chinese pinyin: Zhongliang) became the largest share holder of Mengniu. The diary product company is not only one of the market leaders in China, but also has a significant overseas presence and many business collaborations in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. 

Jeffrey Lu, CEO and Executive Director of Mengniu, said: “Membership of the TOP Programme will act as a catalyst for Mengniu to grow around the world. This is a vital step in our international strategy, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to build the positive reputation of Chinese food and beverage brands among consumers globally. As a Worldwide TOP Partner, we look forward to using the unrivalled platform of the Olympic Games to promote health and joy to Olympians and fans alike.” 

Mengniu has been very active in sports marketing in recent years. In 2017, they became an Official Partner of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They also have a regional partnership with NBA China which has lasted for over ten years. 

With this new partnership, it is clear that Mengniu is preparing itself for the bigger stage in the world. 

Reference: IOC website 

Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick

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