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Coke, Expo and FIFA

CHINESE pop icons Jacky Cheung and Jane Zhang, along with Somali rapper K'Naan, original performer for 2010 FIFA World Cup theme song, are expected to sing together at the Coca-Cola Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai next month.

The beverage company made the announcement during a theme song-unveiling ceremony on Tuesday in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

On May 8 at the Expo Coca-Cola Pavilion, the three celebrities will perform "Wavin' Flag," the theme song of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in June. It will be their first joint performance.

The event will celebrate the World Cup, World Expo 2010 and also the 125th anniversary of the soft drink giant, said Andres Kiger, senior director of integrated marketing for Coca-Cola China.

Kiger says the company is happy to sponsor the two big global events this year and sees some similarities between them.

"Even though the events are different, they are similar to a certain degree because there's the feeling of universality, of coming together and sharing. The idea is 'Let me show you what I have and then you show me'," Kiger told Shanghai Daily. "We found out that these two platforms are coming together very nicely."

Zhang delivered the first live performance of the Chinese version of "Wavin' Flag," which is also the 2010 FIFA World Cup/Coca-Cola Anthem, in front of hundreds of soccer and music fans at the Shenzhen Grand Theater on Tuesday night.

"It's a great honor to be invited to perform the Chinese version of the song," Zhang said. "And cooperating with Jacky and K'naan was a happy experience."

"Wavin' Flag" has become a global phenomenon in 150 countries in seven languages. The Chinese version is one of the remixed versions.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola also kicked off a nationwide "BRRRR" celebration tour, searching for a "CELE-BRRRR-ATION Ambassador" who will be granted a VIP trip to the World Cup in South Africa in June.

The tour invites consumers to learn to "BRRRR" for the FIFA World Cup, while enjoying an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola's World Cup Ambassador, African-based performance artist Baruti, created the expression "BRRRR" with Coke, and it has quickly become the center of a series of widely popular Coca-Cola TV commercials across Africa.

"He's a very creative guy and he made that 'BRRRR,' which was so natural and genuine," Kiger told Shanghai Daily. "Just because it's so genuine, it works so well.

"Different countries started to picking it up saying this is really funny," Kiger added. "We're talking about a universal feeling, it's just a spirit that worked very, very well."

Baruti was at the Shenzhen theater on Tuesday night and taught hundreds of fans how to "BRRRR." Baruti says "BRRRR" reflects the energy and feeling of celebration - hard to put into words - of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. That same feeling can be experienced with an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

The "BRRRR" celebration tour will commence a nationwide search led by Baruti to identify the best "BRRRR" in China.

The search will be both offline and online, allowing consumers throughout the country to upload videos and recordings of their own expressions of "BRRRR" to the Internet.

The winner will be determined by a panel including Baruti and Coca-Cola. As China's "CELE-BRRRR-ATION Ambassador," he or she can travel with Coca-Cola to South Africa for the World Cup.

The ambassador will have special VIP access to events and write a special guest column with a popular Chinese media outlet. The ambassador will report on matches, share experiences and celebrate with football fans across China.

To participate, go to

"Since starting this China tour, I've been amazed at the energy and the passion of fans to celebrate the World Cup," said Baruti. "This shows that wherever you go, Coca-Cola, music and sport are universal."

The Coca-Cola Co has had a formal association with FIFA since 1974 and began official sponsorship of the World Cup in 1978. It has advertised at every World Cup stadium since 1950.


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