Pam Cook, Coca-Cola UNITED
TWG 2022 + Birmingham = SUCCESS
Coca-Cola UNITED will be presenting sponsor of the closing ceremony for The World Games 2022. In the IWGA Interview of the Month, Pam Cook, Media and Promotions Manager at Coca-Cola UNITED Bottling, describes what participants can look forward to on 17 July 2022. Pam Cook has been working on the success of the Games in Birmingham, Alabama as Chief Marketing Officer since July.
What were the reasons for Coca-Cola UNITED becoming involved in The World Games 2022?
Pam Cook: Coca-Cola UNITED is headquartered in Birmingham/Alabama. Our company exists for the benefits of our associates, consumers, customers, communities and owners. Our company has a rich legacy of supporting the communities we live, work and serve in. When our city won the bid to host the Games we immediately planned to be involved. Our entire leadership is committed to the success of this event. Birmingham Alabama is a beautiful city and Coca-Cola UNITED will help refresh athletes, family, fans and others during the 10 days of competition.
Why did the company choose the closing ceremony as a presenting sponsor?
Pam Cook: Coca-Cola is a worldwide brand, recognized in every nation all over the globe. Closing ceremonies are the hand off to the next country that will host these amazing games, and for us it’s like sharing a Coca-Cola with a friend. The closing ceremony is also a wonderful opportunity to salute all the athletes who competed and honor all the hard work they did to get here. Finally, it’s a great way to say “thank you” to all the volunteers, staff, community, and all the people who made it possible to bring The World Games to Birmingham Alabama.
What can the participants look forward to on this final evening?
Pam Cook: Participants can look forward to a performance of surprise and delight. Birmingham Alabama is rich with talented people. Many have achieved national celebrity status. Several will be performing in these closing ceremonies. American Idol stars from Birmingham Alabama, including Reuben Studdard, Taylor Hicks and Bo Bice will perform. There are many others that will share in the performances, you’ll have to be there to experience it.
Sponsorship is a give and take. What effect does your company expect from this commitment?
Pam Cook: The return on investment is amplifying being great corporate citizens and elevating the give back to the community that has been good to our business. Our associates work hard every day to get our product to the market which provides refreshing options for consumers. Whether it’s for immediate consumption or for family dinners we hope consumers continue to choose Coca-Cola products.
What expectations do you have of The World Games in general?
Pam Cook: Overall we look forward to a great event in our great city. This is our once in a lifetime moment. We are ready to host the world in Birmingham Alabama.
When people ask you ‘What are The World Games?’ what is your answer?
Pam Cook: I tell them: “The World Games is an international sporting event featuring games not generally contested in the Olympics. Athletes compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. You should join me at Sumo. Not many people get to see Sumo in their lifetime, I’ll be there, will you join me?”
From a marketing perspective, what goals must be achieved in order for the event to be considered a success?
Pam Cook: Educate, invite, hospitality are a few. We have several but these are a few. The Games haven’t been in the USA for over 30 years. Many Americans have not heard of the Games so we are engaged in a lot of education. Creating the invitation for people to buy tickets, and come to Birmingham is also important. Connecting with fans, athletes, and those planning a vacation in a manner that reaches them is critical. Social/digital media has been a great tool to do this. Finally, hospitality. We want guests to have a wonderful experience when they come to Birmingham. Our city is known for its civil rights history we want to showcase that and all that Birmingham is today. And, we have great food!
Is there a sporting event that you will definitely attend during The World Games next year (apart from the closing ceremony)?
Pam Cook: I will definitely be attending the Sumo competitions. I’ve never seen Sumo and I’m incredibly interested in it.
What headline would you most like to read in the newspaper after the event?
Pam Cook: “The World Games 2022 + Birmingham / Alabama = SUCCESS”
What question should I have asked but forgot to do so? And what answer would you give?
Pam Cook: How should people dress for Alabama weather in July 2022? The answer: It’s hot so dress comfortably.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.