For Immediate Release
February 17, 2009
Contact Information

Susan Stribling
Coca-Cola North America
Jose Xicohtencatl
Taylor PRimero

(BPRW)Coke Zero Gives NCAA(R) Basketball Fans the Chance to "˜Taste' Thirty Seconds of Fame During National Championship Broadcast

Coke Zero "˜Taste the Madness' on to Give College Basketball Fans a Chance to Showcase Their School Spirit in a Coke Zero Television Vignette on CBS

( BLACK PR WIRE) ATLANTA, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Are you as mad as a drink with Real Coke Taste and Zero Calories? Think you can bounce up and down faster than Duke University’s Cameron Crazies? Convinced you can recite your school’s fight song more passionately and intensely than thousands of University of Kansas fans chanting “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk?” If so, now’s the time to prove it by putting your school passion on display for the entire NCAA basketball world to see.

Coke Zero, the Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA, is celebrating NCAA March Madness® by calling on college basketball fans to demonstrate their passion for their favorite team for a chance to be featured in a Coke Zero “Taste the Madness” television vignette. A special vignette featuring the best fan entries will air nationally during the CBS broadcast of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship immediately prior to tipoff. Between now and the NCAA Men’s Final Four®, fans can log onto the Coke Zero “March Madabase” -- a database of NCAA basketball fan rituals -- at to upload their most animated and fanatical videos and photos supporting their favorite NCAA college basketball team.

As determined by a Coke Zero panel of judges, the best entries submitted to the Coke Zero March Madabase, which will be hosted on, will be incorporated into the 30-second vignette that debuts on April 6. Judges will be looking for creativity, intensity, unpredictability, passion and authenticity, and those that rewrite the rulebook, just like Coke Zero did with its Real Coke Taste and Zero Calories.

The new Coke Zero vignette will be the third in a series that has featured Duke’s Cameron Crazies and Kansas’ “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.”

“NCAA basketball fans have loyalty and enthusiasm for their favorite teams that’s unmatched in any other sport,” said Bill Kelly, senior vice president, Coca-Cola Trademark Brands, Coca-Cola North America. “Just like Coke Zero set itself apart from other beverages with its combination of Real Coke Taste and Zero calories, the NCAA basketball fanatics we select for the ‘Taste the Madness’ vignette will stand out through their distinct displays of school spirit and unparalleled fan madness.”

To launch Taste the Madness, Coke Zero has assembled a venerable group of NCAA basketball fans who will be featured prominently on the website. From Arkansas to North Carolina to UCLA, these students represent some of the top NCAA basketball programs and traditions in the country and are widely known on their campuses as leaders when it comes to demonstrating school spirit. These “Mad Majors” will submit their own videos and photos at and inspire other fans on their campuses and across the country to do the same for the chance to be featured in the Coke Zero vignette. In March, Coke Zero will select four of the Mad Majors to represent the brand at the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Detroit and task them with documenting fan activities and uploading content to the March Madabase.

Coke Zero has also partnered with CBS college basketball studio analyst Seth Davis to help promote the Taste the Madness program. Davis is no stranger to the great lengths that fans will go to in order to support their favorite teams, as he was a distinguished member of the Cameron Crazies while a student at Duke University. Additionally, former University of Notre Dame player Bill Laimbeer, who led the school to its only NCAA Men’s Final Four trip in 1979, will represent the program in Detroit during this year’s national semifinals and championship game.

Coca-Cola is an Official NCAA Corporate Champion, the Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA and a partner with the NCAA in a 12-year association which includes beverage marketing and media rights to 88 NCAA championships.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Division I, II and III sports. Visit and for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Enterprise, The Hartford, Hershey’s, Lowe's, Sheraton and State Farm.

NCAA, Final Four, Taste the Madness and March Madness are licensed by or trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.