By Duncan Mlanjira
World chess governing body, the Federation International des Echecs (Fide) has signed a brand-new cooperation agreement with the Coca-Cola company.
Coca-Cola has a long history of supporting sports, a tradition which dates back nearly a century ago. This company is the longest continuous corporate partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since Amsterdam 1928 Games and it has helped numerous athletes and Paralympic athletes to achieve their goals.
A joint statement by the two parties says working together with world-leading companies for the benefit of chess is one of the main goals for Fide and that this cooperation with Coca-Cola is an honour that presents Fide with great opportunities to promote our sport.
“Chess is not only the most popular of all games, played by millions of people, it is also a unique sport that requires a sharp mind, smart strategy and competitive spirit to be the best. These are values that Coca-Cola is proudly committed to supporting,” reads the statement.
The sponsorship deal will take off this summer with two pilot projects — the first to be the Open Rapid and Blitz tournament that will be held in Riga in July (alongside the Grand Prix), which is set to be the strongest event of the kind in 2019.
The second competition that will receive the support of Coca-Cola will be the Polish Team Chess Championship — the Extraleague in Silesia, Poland, at the end of August.
“We will work together to ensure that these are merely the first steps of a long-lasting partnership,” the statement said.
Amongst the long history of Coca-Cola sponsorships American Idol, Apple iTunes, BET Network, NASCAR, NBA, NCAA, the Olympic Games and the English Premiership, signed end of last year to become the league’s seventh commercial partner in a three-and-a-half-year agreement from January 2019.
In the Premiership, Coca-Cola joins other sponsors — Barclays, Carling, Cadbury, Nike, Tag Heuer and EA Sports.
Coca-Cola also sponsors the FIFA World Cup as well the Copa Coca-Cola international school’s football competitions.
The World Cup trophy’s world tour is always sponsored by Coca-Cola, which also owns Schweppes, Fanta, Sprite and Oasis among other brands.
Since the 1928 Olympic Games, Coca-Cola is the longest-running, continuous sponsor of both the Summer and Winter Games.
“We believe the Olympic Movement is a force for good, bringing people and countries together, and we’re proud to use our name to raise its profile and support the world’s most watched and revered international sporting event.
“Since 1992, we’ve also supported the Olympic Torch Relay, which provides a unique opportunity to share values of unity, pride, optimism and inspiration with people all over the world,” says the company on its website.