Coca-Cola Marks 130th Anniversary with Gift to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park District

$1.8 Million Grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation will Support
Improvements in and around Downtown’s Largest Tourism District

Mayor Kasim Reed, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent Unveil
New Georgia Historical Society Marker at Site Where First Coca-Cola was

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–One-hundred-thirty years after Coca-Cola poured its first beverage in
downtown Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation
today announced they are pouring money into improvements throughout the
city’s Centennial Olympic Park District.

Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent announced the gift alongside
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at a celebration hosted at the intersection of
Peachtree and Marietta streets where the first Coca-Cola was served on
May 8, 1886.

“There is no better way to celebrate 130 years of Coca-Cola than to give
back to our hometown,” said Kent. “While Atlanta has always been and
will always be Coca-Cola’s home, the Centennial Olympic Park District is
our neighborhood. For decades, we have continued to invest in improving
the area around our headquarters to support the continued growth of
tourism, business and residences right here in our backyard.”

Given by The Coca-Cola Company’s global philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola
Foundation, the grants announced today include support for five
organizations in the Centennial Olympic Park District:

  • $1 million to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to
    support the expansion of green space and updates to facilities within
    Centennial Olympic Park.
  • $500,000 to the PATH Foundation to support efforts to connect
    Centennial Olympic Park to Atlanta’s westside neighborhoods, including
    efforts to reconfigure Ivan Allen Blvd. with new bike and pedestrian
    trails and improved landscaping.
  • $250,000 to The National Center for Civil and Human Rights to
    support Operation Inspiration, an access program that underwrites
    admission fees for students attending Title 1 schools in metro Atlanta.
  • $50,000 to the Atlanta Union Mission to empower women living at
    My Sister’s House with vocational training and life stabilization
  • $30,000 to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta to support new
    exhibits opening in 2016.

Said Mayor Reed: “Since Coca-Cola’s birth here at Five Points in 1886,
the company has been committed to strengthening our city’s core as a
major employer, driver of tourism and contributor to transformational
initiatives like the development of the Centennial Olympic Park
District. Coca-Cola’s commitment today to further improve the quality of
life in downtown is the latest example of the vibrant private-public
partnership we continue to enjoy.

“I often say there is no better global ambassador for Atlanta than
Coca-Cola,” Reed continued. “Our city had the privilege of loving
Coca-Cola first and we are immensely proud of the work the company
continues to do to make our hometown and our world a better place.”

Since its inception in the early 1990s, Centennial Olympic Park has
become a major tourist hub for downtown Atlanta with more than three
million people visiting the area each year. ‘Pemberton Place,’ directly
north of the park, was developed by Coca-Cola utilizing land purchased
to house Coca-Cola’s Olympic City during the 1996 Olympic Games, in
combination with land acquired by the company after the Games. In
addition to building a new World of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola donated the
land for both the Georgia Aquarium and the National Center for Civil and
Human Rights to create a hub for three of Atlanta’s major tourist
attractions at Pemberton Place.

Over the last decade, The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation
have invested more than $160 million and tens of thousands of volunteer
hours in support of social, economic and environmental programs
throughout Atlanta.

New historical marker

Mayor Reed and Kent also were joined by representatives from the Georgia
Historical Society who dedicated a new historical marker at the “Five
Points” intersection marking the site of Coca-Cola’s first pour.

“The Georgia Historical Society is honored to commemorate the birthplace
of Coca-Cola with a Georgia historical marker,” said Dr. Todd Groce,
Georgia Historical Society President and CEO. “Honoring Coca-Cola as
part of the Georgia Business History initiative ensures that current and
future generations will not only understand the importance of this
intersection as the birthplace of one of the world’s most successful and
recognizable brands, but also the importance of this iconic Georgia
company as a key driver in our state’s development and growth for the
past 130 years.”

The text of the marker reads:

The first glass of Coca-Cola was sold for five cents on May 8, 1886,
at Jacobs’ Pharmacy, a popular Atlanta soda fountain that was located on
this corner. Coca-Cola was created by Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton
in his laboratory just a short walk from this location. Atlanta
businessman Asa Candler began to purchase the rights to the formula for
Coca-Cola in 1888 and founded The Coca-Cola Company in 1892 as a Georgia
corporation to manufacture and advertise Coca-Cola across the country.
Candler sold the company in 1919 for $25 million to a group of investors
that included Ernest Woodruff. His son, Robert Woodruff, led Coca-Cola
for more than half of the twentieth century, expanding Coca-Cola into a
global business. Today Coca-Cola is the most widely recognized consumer
product in the world.”

Coca-Cola’s global operations have been based in downtown Atlanta since
the beverage was created in Dr. John Pemberton’s home on Marietta Street
in 1886 and carried to Jacobs’ Pharmacy to be served to the first
consumers. After outgrowing a series of offices stretching from Edgewood
Avenue to Decatur Street, The Coca-Cola Company in 1920 established its
current headquarters site on North Avenue. Today, more than 5,000 people
work at the North Avenue headquarters campus with 4,000 additional
Coca-Cola associates based throughout Georgia.

In addition to today’s dedication event, Coca-Cola said ‘thank you’ to
downtown residents and workers handing out thousands of free beverages
in Woodruff Park. Tickets for free admission to the World of Coca-Cola
were also distributed.

“We are grateful to the millions of people who have supported and
enjoyed our brands in our hometown and around the world over the years,”
Kent added. “It is because of them that we are able to stand at this
historic site today.”

About the Georgia Historical Society

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent
statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and
teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished
collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the
nation. To learn more visit

About the Georgia Historical Marker Program

The Georgia Historical Society has administered Georgia’s historical
marker program since 1998, erecting over 200 historical markers across
Georgia on a wide variety of subjects. Now, online mapping tools allow
you to design statewide driving routes based on historical markers,
while mobile apps give information about markers nearby. Visit
for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history
where it happened.

About The Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The
Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has
awarded more than $820 million in grants to support sustainable
community initiatives around the world. For more information about The
Coca-Cola Foundation, please visit

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 and more than 3,800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of
the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company’s
portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, 18 of which are available
in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. These brands include Diet Coke,
Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute
Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world’s
largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1 provider of both
sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of our
beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day.
With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our
Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental
footprint, 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, visit our blog,
Coca-Cola Unbottled, at
or find us on LinkedIn at


The Coca-Cola Company
Kent Landers, +01 404-676-2683