Atlanta Braves Become First Professional Baseball Team to Offer Coca-Cola Freestyle to Fans
ATLANTA, April 11, 2012 – Atlanta-based MELT (www.meltatl.com) is helping put the finishing touches on the new Taco Mac Family Zone at Turner Field. The facility is designed to bring a new level of family entertainment to Turner Field in the iconic ballpark’s main fan plaza. The new ultimate family fun zone, which debuts at the Atlanta Braves home opener this Friday, April 13, occupies the former Cartoon Network space “Tooner Field.”
Through a new partnership with the Atlanta Braves, Taco Mac has developed a fun, interactive baseball-themed experience for those visiting Turner Field to cheer on their favorite team. A centerpiece component of the Taco Mac family Fun Zone is a refreshment space featuring the revolutionary Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers. This marks the first time that Coca-Cola Freestyle – which serves more than 100 beverage brands – will refresh fans in a Major League Baseball park. Taco Mac, which has restaurants across the Southeast, was the first casual dining chain to offer Coca-Cola Freestyle at all of its locations in the U.S.
“Families have enjoyed Taco Mac in their local communities for years, and we are happy to provide a unique place to make the Braves game day experience even more fun,” said Bob Campbell, CEO of the ownership group Tappan Street Restaurant Group.
In addition to the incorporation of Coca-Cola Freestyle technology, Taco Mac and MELT have executed agreements with both Powerade and Microsoft to include some of their most relevant technologies for sports fans, including Powerade mister machines and the Xbox Kinect from Microsoft. The Taco Mac/Atlanta Braves relationship is the first instance in professional sports where a sponsor has activated with Coca-Cola Freestyle technology, driving increased sales and value against the property, while also building brand equity for all partners involved.
“MELT is so proud to work with three great brands in Taco Mac, Coca-Cola Freestyle and the Atlanta Braves”, said MELT CEO Vince Thompson. “The Taco Mac Family Zone is significant because the Coca-Cola Freestyle experience is redefining the way professional sports teams and their sponsors can engage with fans on an emotional level. Braves Nation will be the first fan base to experience the next generation of beverage and concession interaction and technology”.
Lending to the authentic feel, special outdoor mini-fields have been created to give young fans to chance to “round the bases” like a real big leaguer. Families can also cool off with POWERADE misters and have their photo taken inside a virtual fan-packed stadium. Those who’ve worked up a baseball-sized thirst can find refreshment in the Coca-Cola Freestyle Zone. Via an interactive touchscreen on the front of each fountain dispenser, four Coca-Cola Freestyle machines will offer families a choice of more than 100 brands including waters, sports drinks, lemonades and sparkling beverages.
“The Braves are proud to partner with Taco Mac and welcome the Taco Mac Family Fun Zone to Turner Field,” said Derek Schiller, Braves Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This unique partnership with Taco Mac will upgrade our offerings to families and our younger fans and also features the first Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers at any Major League Baseball stadium in partnership with our longtime partner, Coca-Cola.”
Atlanta integrated sports marketing agency MELT (Marketing Entertainment Lifestyle and Trends), the creative agency for Taco Mac, developed and produced the Taco Mac Family Zone. The Taco Mac Family Zone will begin welcoming guests during the Atlanta Braves home opening game on April 13. The interactive experiences featured in Taco Mac Family Fun Zone are free for all visitors.
MELT LLC is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing firm focusing on sports and entertainment, particularly in the professional, collegiate, entertainment and racing arenas. MELT’s award winning work has won acclaim such as Adweek’s Buzz Marketer of the Year, Event Marketer Ex-Awards and “It” List, MARCOM Gold Award, and Best in Atlanta, among others. MELT is currently working on its 10th NCAA Men’s Final Four for the Coca-Cola Company this year in New Orleans; its fourth season of Full Throttle NHRA Racing; Kia Motors of America; State Farm; Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Tourism, Taco Mac, Hangout Music Fest, ACC and many others. Follow MELT at meltatl.com, facebook.com/meltatl, and twitter.com/meltatl.
About Coca-Cola Freestyle
Coca-Cola Freestyle allows people to select from more than 100 regular and low-calorie beverage brands. With more than 70 low/no-calorie options, more than 90 caffeine-free choices and 80+ unique brands offered nowhere else, Coca-Cola Freestyle truly offers the kind of variety designed to meet peoples’ beverage needs and lifestyles. Coca-Cola Freestyle is available in more than 3,200 outlets and more than 80 markets, covering 45 states across the U.S., including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The Company plans future U.S. introductions throughout 2012. Coca-Cola Freestyle was in development for more than four years prior to launching in 2010.
About the Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves is Major League Baseball’s winningest franchise since 1991. During that time, Braves teams have earned 14 division championships, five National League pennants, a World Series title, and the 2010 National League Wild Card. Based in Atlanta since 1966, the Braves franchise is the longest continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball. Atlanta Braves games are telecast on FS South, SportSouth, and Peachtree TV. Radio broadcasts can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan, Rock 100 FM, 93.7 FM and regionally on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Follow the Braves at braves.com, facebook.com/braves, and twitter.com/braves.
About Taco Mac
Known for its delicious Buffalo wings, unparalleled beer selection, great atmosphere and excellent service, and family-friendly environment, Taco Mac began in Atlanta in 1979 when a couple of guys from Buffalo, N.Y. made a pit stop in Atlanta on their way to Florida. After touring the city and enjoying the weather they decided to stay and bring a popular northern cuisine – Buffalo wings – to the sunny South. Thirty+ years later, Taco Mac now has 27 stores across metro Atlanta, Charlotte and Chattanooga, and continues to grow. Today Taco Mac restaurants have a large number of high-definition, flat-screen televisions on display for guests to enjoy local and national sporting competitions. Taco Mac, owned by Atlanta-based Tappan Street Restaurant Group, has also made a name for itself as an avid supporter of the community. From in-kind donations for a school giveaway to an annual golf tournament that raises funds for non-profit organizations, Taco Mac is dedicated to serving the communities that surround them. For more information, visit www.tacomac.com.