"Coca-Cola Racing Family" created

Coke introduces its new "team" DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 1998) Coca-Cola, the "Official Soft Drink of NASCAR," is running with a fast crowd -- a team of 10 of the hottest drivers on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit. The Coca-Cola ...

"Coca-Cola Racing Family" created

Coke introduces its new "team"

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 1998) Coca-Cola, the "Official Soft Drink of NASCAR," is running with a fast crowd -- a team of 10 of the hottest drivers on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit. The Coca-Cola Company has announced the creation of the "Coca-Cola Racing Family," featuring Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Bill Elliott, Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty, Todd Bodine, Ricky Rudd, Kenny Irwin and Steve Park.

NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to catch a close-up view of the Coca-Cola Racing Family when they are officially unveiled at Coca-Cola's NASCAR-themed attraction at the corner of Richard Petty Blvd. and Midway Ave., across the street from Daytona International Speedway's third turn. The attraction will be open 5-11 p.m. daily, Thursday-Saturday.

Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers, as well as popular NASCAR Busch Series drivers, will make special appearances at the Coca-Cola stage Thursday through Saturday from 7-9 p.m. Musical groups will perform following the driver appearances.

The Coca-Cola Racing Family is the cornerstone of Coca-Cola's NASCAR involvement in 1998 and beyond. Coca-Cola Racing Family members will be participating in a host of activities on behalf of Coca-Cola designed to put racing fans in the "driver's seat."

Some of the drivers' family members also will be part of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, including three generations of Jarretts: Ned, Dale and his son, Jason, as well as Dale's wife, Kelley; Kyle Petty's wife, Pattie, and son, Adam; and Dale Earnhardt's wife, Teresa, and son, Dale Jr.

Adam Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jason Jarrett are rising stars in their own right in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division.

"The Coca-Cola Racing Family celebrates the fans' passion for motorsports and good times spent at NASCAR events with friends and family," said Steve Koonin, vice president, presence marketing, The Coca-Cola Company. "Through the Coca-Cola Racing Family we will link fans with their favorite drivers and families in a variety of new and exciting ways."

The Coca-Cola NASCAR-themed venue also offers fans a variety of activities and entertainment. Fans can experience the thrill of NASCAR racing at the Coca-Cola NASCAR simulators, featuring five NASCAR racing cockpits that pit fans against each other on real NASCAR Winston Cup tracks.

Coca-Cola's famous customized Harley-Davidsons, complete with sidecars in the shape of Coke's signature contour bottle, will be on display and "Coca-Cola Refreshment Crews" will be out in force in special "Refreshment Vehicles" to keep fans revved-up and refreshed wth Coca-Cola, t-shirts, hats and tickets to NASCAR events. The Coca-Cola NASCAR-themed attraction is free and open to the public.

NASCAR fans throughout the Southeast will begin to see the Coca-Cola Racing Family on billboards, on life-size vending machines and point-of-purchase displays, on Coca-Cola classic packaging and in pre-feature entertainment videos at local cinemas. In addition, the Coca-Cola Racing Family will be featured in an extensive print, television, radio and online advertising campaign. Signature NASCAR and Coca-Cola Racing Family licensed merchandise -- everything from clothing and caps to trading cards and collectibles -- also will be available at tracks, NASCAR events, Coca-Cola retail stores and other outlets.

Coca-Cola classic signed on to become the "Official Soft Drink" of NASCAR racing beginning Jan. 1, 1998. The comprehensive, five-year agreement is part of The Coca-Cola Company's long-established strategy to join with sports and entertainment properties that are meaningful to the people who drink its products. Central to this approach is activation through marketing programs that build its business by bringing fans closer to their favorite sports and their favorite soft drinks. Through its associations with tracks and racing teams, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners have been involved in NASCAR for more than 30 years. The Company is title sponsor of the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte and the NASCAR Busch Series Coca-Cola 300 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas.

The company sponsored cars from 1969-76 and 1990-94 under the Coca-Cola and Mello Yellow brands, respectively.

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