NHRA announced today that 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, it was announced that 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 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 the 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, the NHRA has helped Coca-Cola deliver growth for multiple brands in the portfolio. For the past four seasons, Full Throttle® Energy Drink has been the lead brand on the 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 Tom Compton, president, NHRA. “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 motor sport on the planet,” said Michael Mathews, vice president, Non-Colas Sparkling Marketing, Coca-Cola. “Fans of Mello Yello are all about good times with friends, and that is certainly delivered by the NHRA’s high octane excitement and thrilling race days.”
The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule also was announced:
2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule
53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals Feb. 14-17
29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals Feb. 22-24
44th annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals March 14-17
Gainesville, Fla. (PSM)
14th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals April 5-7
Fourth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals April 19-21
26th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals April 26-28
33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals May 3-5
25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals May 17-19
44th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals May 30 – June 2
Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)
13th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals June 14-16
Inaugural NHRA New England Nationals June 20-23
16th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals June 27-30
Seventh annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals July 4-7
Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)
34th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals July 19-21
26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals July 26-28
Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)
26th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals Aug. 2-4
32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 15-18
Brainerd, Minn. (PSM)
59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals Aug. 28 – Sept. 2
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
Sixth annual NHRA Nationals Sept. 13-15
Charlotte, N.C. (PSM)
28th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Sept. 19-22
Second annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Sept. 27-29
St. Louis (PSM)
29th annual Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals Oct. 3-6
Reading, Pa. (PSM)
13th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals Oct. 24-27
Las Vegas (PSM)
49th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals Nov. 7-10
Pomona, Calif. (PSM)
(PSM) – Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle