Coca-Cola Announces New Partnership with the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards to 'Get the Ball Rolling' Against Childhood Obesity

Owners and players of Washington's top sports teams and Coca-Cola held a kick-off event today at the U.S. Capitol to promote active, healthy living among D.C., Maryland and Virginia youth

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coca-Cola Company, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, Washington Nationals, Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards joined forces at the U.S. Capitol today to announce a unique partnership aimed at educating local area youth about the importance of physical activity and a balanced diet. The collective influence of these high-profile partners is expected to amplify the need to educate and engage area youth about eating right and keeping fit. These are shared goals for Washington's professional sports teams and Coca-Cola, giving youth an exciting opportunity to connect with local icons and teaching them how to "play like pros and eat like pros." The D.C.-area alliance, which is an extension of Coca-Cola's numerous Live Positively programs, will serve as a pilot program for future partnerships between Coca-Cola and professional sports teams throughout the country.

"It is not often that all professional sports team owners in a city can present a unified front to support a cause, but the issue of childhood obesity, while a nationwide problem, is particularly an issue in the Nation's Capitol, which is among the cities with the highest childhood obesity rates in the country," said Dori Silverman, Vice President of Field Execution for Coca-Cola North America. "To coincide with National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we brokered a partnership among the D.C.-area teams, which we hope will bring the community together to encourage active and healthy living."

The announcement – which included star athletes like the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Mystics' Crystal Langhorne, Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman, Redskins' Chris Cooley and Wizards' Josh Howard – marked the kick-off of the "Live Positively: Get the Ball Rolling" partnership initiative for Washington, D.C. Through this new partnership, youth from D.C., Maryland and Virginia will have the opportunity to learn about living a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating right at a series of fitness clinics led by staff and professional athletes from the Capitals, Mystics, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards as well as area nutrition experts.

"We are committed to doing our part to fight obesity and to help create a healthier nation through policies and programs that promote active, healthy living," said Ms. Silverman of The Coca-Cola Company. "We hope this is an event that will set the standard for other cities across the nation, and it is fitting that it launched at our Nation's Capitol. Sharing this event with Members of Congress, who represent communities across the country, will hopefully serve as a call to action to help organize other events like this nationwide."

"Today is a perfect example of a double bottom-line partnership – great teams and a great partner in Coca-Cola. We are joining forces and coming together to benefit the community and our youth. Our teams are committed to featuring healthy choices at our events and promoting programs that encourage visible signs of change," said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO and majority owner of the Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Washington Wizards Ted Leonsis.

Washington Nationals' vice chairman and principal owner Mark D. Lerner added, "Our athletes serve as role models to our kids, and we understand the importance of inspiring kids to lead active and healthy lifestyles. We are thrilled to partner with Coca-Cola and the other Washington sports teams to encourage kids and families to be active and healthy here in our nation's capital."

"As a native Washingtonian, I am well aware that childhood obesity is a real problem in our nation's capital," said Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins. "The Redskins have been active champions in the fight against childhood obesity through our commitment with the NFL Play 60 program. We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Coca-Cola and the owners and players from Washington's best professional sports leagues to teach local youth the value of exercise, sport and healthy living."

Each sports team, along with Coca-Cola, will host a workshop clinic in October that will focus on teaching youth the importance of exercising and eating a balanced diet. Professional athletes and nutrition experts will run fitness drills and give nutrition lessons for kids to take home and share with their families. The four planned October clinics will include participation by 750-1000 youth throughout the Washington, D.C. region.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater®, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Simply® and Georgia®. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Monumental Sports & Entertainment is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The company owns and operates three professional sports teams – the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Mystics (WNBA) – as well as Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore-Washington Ticketmaster franchise. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex (the Capitals training facility) and George Mason University's Patriot Center.

About the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Washington Nationals Baseball Club are committed to community partnerships that improve the lives of children and families across the Washington Capital Region. The Foundation's cornerstone programs are focused on children's education, health and recreation. A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation has committed to, among other projects, a partnership with the D.C. Government to build the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy to teach the game of baseball and provide after school educational programs for children in the DC region.

About the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation

The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the non-profit philanthropic arm of the team, combines the influence and popularity of the Washington Redskins with the resources and assets of Washington area corporations.  Founded by Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, the Charitable Foundation is guided by its Leadership Council that consists of CEOs who help shape and define the philanthropic efforts of the Redskins to achieve a measurable impact on youth development in the areas of education, community outreach, and health and wellness.  Under the health and wellness umbrella Redskins Play 60 focuses on getting area youth active for 60 minutes a day through the installation of Redskins Youth Fitness Zones, the Play 60 Challenge, First Down for Fitness, Fields for Tomorrow, Flag Football and other initiatives. Visit www.Redskins.com and click on Community for more information.

SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company



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