Coke Re-ups as NHRA Sponsor

ATLANTA Coca-Cola has renewed its title sponsorship of the National Hot Road Association’s drag racing series through 2011, the company said Thursday at a press conference in Atlanta.

Coke, through its sports drink, Powerade, has been the title sponsor of the series since 2002 and had two years remaining on that contract. The name of the series has been NHRA Powerade since that agreement, and Powerade will remain in the name through the new contract.

“As a sports drink, Powerade defies convention, which is exactly what NHRA competitors do each time they roar down the track,” said Don Knauss, president of Coca-Cola North America. “Bringing together Powerade and NHRA has created new excitement and energy for NHRA fans and, by extending our partnership, we’ll keep that momentum pumping for years to come.”

Coca-Cola remains the official soft drink of the NHRA and Dasani continues as the official water of the sport under the new agreement. Coke will continue to provide a 5,000-square-foot interactive display at each race that gives fans an opportunity to drive a drag car simulator.

Coke said it has added its new energy drink, Full Throttle, as an official sponsor of the sport and will present an award to the best pit crew.

Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed.

The NHRA Powerade series sponsors 23 national drag races annually.