NHRA Story
Coca-Cola extends sponsorship of NHRA professional series, names Mello Yello series flagship brand
Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The Coca-Cola Company has extended its relationship with the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body and will continue its longstanding association as title sponsor of NHRA’s premier series through the year 2018. In addition, beginning in 2013, Mello Yello, The Coca-Cola Company’s popular citrus-flavored soft-drink brand, will be the new series title sponsor: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Sharon Byers, senior vice president of sports and entertainment marketing partnerships at The Coca-Cola Company, and NHRA President Tom Compton jointly made the announcement in downtown Indianapolis at Monument Circle on the eve of the start of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus, the world’s largest and most prestigious drag racing event.

“The Coca-Cola Company and our bottlers have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the NHRA,” said Byers. “Together, we have created a successful formula for many Coca-Cola brands to connect with NHRA’s passionate and dedicated community. We know this trend will continue with the addition of Mello Yello, which boasts its own faithful following, to the equation.”

Throughout the decade-long partnership, NHRA has helped Coca-Cola deliver growth for multiple brands in the portfolio. For the last four seasons, Full Throttle Energy Drink has been the lead brand on NHRA’s signature series. Full Throttle will continue to play a key role in Coca-Cola’s 2013 NHRA activation.

“The Coca-Cola Company has been a cornerstone of the sport since 2002, and this extension ensures our partnership will continue through at least 2018,” said Compton. “Over the past 11 years working with The Coca-Cola Company and the bottlers, we have developed a deep professional and personal relationship. Transitioning to a brand as powerful as Mello Yello is exciting on a number of fronts, and the vision the brand team and the bottlers have shared with us regarding their plans to leverage this sponsorship will provide an extended reach nationwide for the sport of NHRA Drag Racing.”

Coca-Cola North America announced preliminary plans that will deliver the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with much broader outreach. As the cornerstone of the sparkling beverage reintroduction into the world of motorsports, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will receive unprecedented activation and increased visibility nationwide.

Mello Yello has a storied history as an active sponsor in the world of auto racing, and 2013 will mark the popular brand’s return to motorsports. Mello Yello enjoyed a successful relationship with Kyle Petty in stock car racing from 1991 to 1994.

“During our brief run in motorsports, Mello Yello was at the top of its game. The anticipation of returning the brand to its roots has created a palpable enthusiasm across the entire Coca-Cola system to begin activating against the NHRA, the most powerful motorsport on the planet,” said Michael Mathews, vice president of non-colas sparkling marketing at The Coca-Cola Company. “Fans of Mello Yello are all about good times with friends, and that is certainly delivered by NHRA’s high-octane excitement and exhilarating race days.”

Related story:
Coca Cola's Byers, NHRA's Compton discuss NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
NHRA announces 2013 Mello Yello Series schedule