ATLANTA (May 12, 2005) – With two years remaining on their initial agreement, The Coca-Cola Company and NHRA have agreed to a new, long-term deal that will extend POWERade’s NHRA title sponsorship into the next decade.

Today, at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, NHRA and Coca-Cola North America announced that POWERade’s partnership with the premier series in the sport of drag racing, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, will continue through 2011.

“Since coming on board, Coca-Cola North America and the POWERade brand, with support from Coca-Cola Enterprises, have made an immeasurable impact on the sport of drag racing, NHRA and the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series,” said Tom Compton, president of NHRA, the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body. “To be aligned with a leading brand like POWERade as our series sponsor and extend our relationship into the next decade reinforces the value and visibility that NHRA brings to bear on behalf of its sponsors,” said Compton.

Since becoming series sponsor in 2002, POWERade has created a variety of consumer programs, the likes of which the sport has not seen in its 50+ year history, that have helped to elevate NHRA’s awareness among a broader audience. Regional promotions in event markets, national presence through commemorative packaging, national television advertisements featuring the stars of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing, and point-of-purchase displays highlighting the brand’s association with the world’s fastest motorsport are just a few of the many exciting initiatives that POWERade has brought to fans of NHRA racing.

“As a sports drink, POWERade defies convention, which is exactly what NHRA competitors do each time they roar down the track.” said Don Knauss, president, Coca-Cola North America. “Bringing together POWERade and NHRA has created new excitement and energy for NHRA fans, and by extending our partnership, we’ll keep that momentum pumping for years to come.”

This year, POWERade enhanced its 5,000-square-foot on-site fan interaction display in NHRA’s Nitro Alley to include the one-of-a-kind POWERade Fan Nationals program, where fans compete in realistic Funny Car simulators in qualifying and final eliminations to determine victors at each national event. Each national event winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, California in November to compete for the inaugural POWERade Fan Nationals Series Championship.

Also in 2005, Coca-Cola North America’s new energy drink, Full Throttle, became an official sponsor of NHRA and implemented a program to reward and recognize NHRA pit crews in each of the four POWERade racing classes.

The extension also continues to designate Coca-Cola as the official soft drink of NHRA and Dasani as the official water of NHRA.

“There is no better series sponsor for NHRA than POWERade,” said Compton. “Today’s announcement with this worldwide brand provides the foundation for a very bright future which will benefit everyone involved in the sport of NHRA Drag Racing.”

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., the NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. It presents 23 national events through its NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks. The NHRA-sanctioned sportsman and bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels. The NHRA develops the stars of tomorrow by offering the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series, and the NHRA Street Legal Program. The NHRA also offers the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League for youths ages 8 to 17.

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world’s top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day.


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