Mar 19, 2010 at 02:05 PM
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Coca-Cola Launches "Unity Cup"

Coca-Cola is combining two long-running property relationships to create a wholly new event being dubbed the "Unity Cup."

Special Olympics athletes, playing alongside football legends and other celebrities, will compete in the inaugural "Unity Cup" presented by Coca-Cola, prior to a FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match. The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with Special Olympics, today announced details of the event which will take place at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 3, prior to a quarterfinal match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Coca-Cola's FIFA sponsorship dates back to 1978 and has sponsored the Special Olympics since its inception in 1968.

The goal of the Unity Cup is to support the movement of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities and is an extension of the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.

"We have a long and unique association with sport, especially football, and have witnessed over the decades how it can unite people," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. "The Unity Cup is a testament to that power as we have brought together our partners at Special Olympics and FIFA to shine a spotlight on the important values of understanding, acceptance and inclusion that we all share."

Coca-Cola supports the Special Olympics movement through financial and in-kind support, marketing expertise and hands-on volunteer work.

"The Unity Cup is an incredible opportunity to showcase the abilities of our Special Olympics athletes on a world stage," said Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver. "The Unified Sports experience benefits not only our athletes but also the partners involved without disabilities as we promote a global community of inclusion and acceptance. Thanks to our global partner Coca-Cola, while the world's attention is focused on football, we can continue to share the message that sport is a powerful agent to bring together people from all walks of life."