News

The Coca-Cola Co denies US$34m sponsorship walkout allegations

Most popular

The just-drinks analyst returns

Heineken must cut costs to aid recovery - analysis

The just-drinks analyst returns

Interview - Treasury CEO Mike Clarke - Part II

How COVID has accelerated the sobriety trend

MORE

The Coca-Cola Co has rejected allegations that it is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to walk away from a US$34m sponsorship deal with a US motorsports group.

Coca-Cola sponsors the National Hot Rod Association through the Mello Yello brand

Coca-Cola sponsors the National Hot Rod Association through the Mello Yello brand

The soft drinks company said the claim, made in a lawsuit by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), was unfounded and will be challenged. "We will defend the lawsuit accordingly," a Coca-Cola spokesperson told just-drinks today.

The NHRA lodged the lawsuit in a Californian court on Monday. The suit claims Coca-Cola breached a long-term contract when it used the coronavirus-related slowdown in live sports attendance as a pretext for cancelling the partnership. The NHRA alleges that Coca-Cola had already signalled in 2019 that it wanted out of the deal and now was trying to use the coronavirus "to achieve its desired business result and avoid its existing and future payment obligations".

According to the lawsuit, Coca-Cola and the NHRA have a 19-year sponsorship history, including a six-year agreement set to expire at the end of 2023.

Commenting on the lawsuit in a post on NHRARacer.com, NHRA president Glen Cromwell said: "We do not take this action lightly. But, we are unwavering in our belief that we have no other option to protect our rights and the interests of our racing community, especially the racers whose purse was funded in large part by this agreement."

The NHRA is the governing body for US drag racing. Coca-Cola sponsors the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series through the Mello Yello soda brand.

Last month, Coca-Cola announced a global restructuring that will result in an undisclosed number of job losses.

The Coca-Cola Co's hard seltzer launch is a statement of intent - Click here for a just-drinks comment


Related Content

Drinks e-commerce at

Drinks e-commerce at "inflection point" - The Coca-Cola Co...

The Coca-Cola Co reassures market over coronavirus repercussions

The Coca-Cola Co reassures market over coronavirus repercussions...

The Coca-Cola Co to cut staff numbers globally in company overhaul

The Coca-Cola Co to cut staff numbers globally in company overhaul...

The Coca-Cola Co on guard for lockdown re-runs - CEO James Quincey

The Coca-Cola Co on guard for lockdown re-runs - CEO James Quincey...

Oops! This article is copy protected.

Why can’t I copy the text on this page?

The ability to copy articles is specially reserved for people who are part of a group membership.

How do I become a group member?

To find out how you and your team can copy and share articles and save money as part of a group membership call Sean Clinton on
+44 (0)1527 573 736 or complete this form..



Forgot your password?