A Family Affair
You may have heard of Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company. Did you know that Coca-Cola is also one of the major sponsors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? More importantly, did you know that this multi-billion dollar company sponsors the Indy Motor Speedway because it’s good for business?
The answer is yes, and it’s a great example of how marketing works. You’ll never see an Indy car race without someone wearing a Coca-Cola sponsorship patch on the chest or back, and this is how they got their start in brand sponsorship.
The Indy Motor Speedway was originally known as the Indianapolis 500 mile race. It was first held in 1911 and is one of the most revered sporting events in the world. In 2019, the Speedway will be celebrating their 100th anniversary, so it’s the perfect time to look back at how Coca-Cola has been a part of this historic milestone.
The Early Years And The Great War
If you’re a sports fan, you may know that World War I was a devastating event that cost the lives of millions of people. In fact, many consider it to be the “Greatest War” because it lasted so long and was so destructive. Thanks to some smart marketing and the booming economy, bottling companies like Coca-Cola were able to flourish during this time. They were able to purchase multiple ranches and establish themselves as one of the top food and beverage companies in the world.
It was during this time that the company started sponsoring sports teams and events. Back in 1914, John E. Kennedy, the president of the Coca-Cola Company, decided to sponsor a university team because he felt that it would be good for business. Coca-Cola went on to become one of the founding members of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), a trade association that today boasts over 16,000 members worldwide. He also helped fund the construction of the Chicago Stadium.
The Growth Of The Indy Motor Speedway
After the great war, the United States experienced an unprecedented period of growth and prosperity. The country’s population more than doubled in size, and many people, especially in the cities, had more money to spend. This is when you would typically see an increase in brand sponsorship.
Coca-Cola continued to grow with the country. According to the company, the 1950s were the “golden era” of stadium soft drink promotion. If you look at the top grossing stadiums of the 20th century, you’ll notice they’re all owned by alcohol, gas, or food companies. The exception is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What are the odds?
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the home of the Indy 500. Did you know that the Speedway tracks are the original asphalt and they’re some of the oldest tracks in professional sports? The brand has also been around since 1911 and is one of the most iconic American sports venues. It’s not difficult to understand why Coca-Cola has been a part of the Speedway since the beginning. It’s simply good business.
The Speedway is one of the most iconic sports venues in the country. The track is located in the middle of the city and is surrounded by skyscrapers. It is actually visible from most of the venue’s 50 seating areas. It would be difficult to find a more ideal setting to promote a beverage company.
Present Day And All-Time Greats
Coca-Cola has been a major part of the Speedway ever since it was built. In fact, they’re still the principal sponsor of the Indy 500 even though it’s now 100 years old. The brand also sponsors other events at the Speedway including the Miller Lite Carb Day Grand Prix, the Midpointe Credit Union 500, and the NASCAR Truck Series race, the Menards 500. In addition, the company funds the historical museum and archives at the Speedway as well as the scoreboard and LED display installation in the Grandstand.
Coca-Cola is still one of the top beverage companies in the world. In 2019, it was valued at nearly $16 billion. The company continues to grow, establishing itself as a major player in the sports world. It would be difficult to find a more fitting logo for this historic brand than the checkered flag because it represents achievement, dedication, and hard work. This is the true spirit of the Indy Motor Speedway.