For Immediate Release
July 04, 2013
Contact Information

The Coca-Cola Company
Melina Baetti
Wanda Yancey Rodwell

(BPRW) Coca-Cola Helps ESSENCE Festival Move, Groove and Enjoy Through 2015

- Beverage Leader Renews as Presenting Sponsor through 2015, Donates $25K to Uplift New Orleans Youth -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At ESSENCE Festival, one of the hottest events of the year, Coca-Cola is there to quench every thirst. To pump up the heat, today Coca-Cola will be extending its agreement as “Presenting Sponsor” and the official ESSENCE Festival beverage. The ESSENCE Festival is the nation’s largest annual event celebrating African-American music, culture and empowerment.

“Our partnership with ESSENCE stems from our shared commitment of empowering and giving back to our communities,” said Lauventria Robinson, Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company. “This partnership offers an extraordinary opportunity to connect and engage with one of the most influential members of today’s community – the African-American woman.”

Coca-Cola has been the Festival’s presenting sponsor for 18 of the last 19 years. The sponsorship agreement includes this year’s festival and continues through 2015.


As part of its support to the New Orleans community, The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to Café Reconcile - a unique life skills and culinary jobs training program. Café Reconcile empowers at-risk youth by training them in the culinary arts. Since 2000, Café Reconcile has instructed and placed more than 900 young men and women in culinary jobs within New Orleans restaurants, hotels, hospitals and universities.

“Our $25,000 grant addresses two of the city’s challenges, fitness and nutrition and youth development,” said Lori George Billingsley, Vice President, Community Connections, Coca-Cola North America Group. “Through our support, 165 additional young people will be trained to work in New Orleans restaurants and its hospitality industry, creating nutritious healthy meals.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation has invested more than $500,000 in the New Orleans community during the ESSENCE Music Festival.


This year, Festival attendees can enjoy ice-cold Coke refreshment at the Coca-Cola booth located inside the Ernest Morial Convention Center. They can also:

• Take part in Delicious cooking demonstrations each day with the help of celebrity Chef G. Garvin.

• Ogle eye-candy couture from Harlem-based African-American designers at the Harlem Row Fashion Show.

Move to the Beat with our DJ while burning calories and getting healthy living tips from Olympian Jackie Joyner Kersee.

Share Tweets and photos of fellow festival-goers as they “Move, Groove and Enjoy” the festival on a 70-inch Coca-Cola social media wall.

• Lace up their sneakers for the Coca-Cola Run/Walk, Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 at 8:30 AM at the Audubon Aquarium’s Boardwalk Riverfront.

•Take an icy and refreshing break from the New Orleans heat inside the Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper.

About The Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. It has awarded more than $500 million to support sustainable community initiatives worldwide. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to

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. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at, follow us on Twitter at or check out our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at

Source: The Coca-Cola Company

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