Coca-Cola is to invest more than &£7m in a campaign to position the brand as the drink for fans of lower-division football.
The company will use the “Real League” tagline on all advertising supporting its &£15m sponsorship of the Football League. The ads will be created by roster agency Mother.
The company will transform its trademark red-and-white logo into the colours of the various teams in the three divisions. Any ads on display in stadiums will use the colours of the appropriate team.
Coca-Cola-branded merchandise for the different teams will also use individual teams’ colours.
Industry sources say there is also the possibility of launching special-edition coloured packs for successful cup or league teams.
The company is in talks with Sky TV football pundits Chris Kamara and Helen Chamberlain to represent the brand. Both of them are seen as popular presenters among football fans.
One insider close to Coca-Cola says the campaign will try to associate the drinks brand with “real” football played outside the Premiership.
He adds: “All the communications will be bespoke to the teams to make the various sets of fans feel close to Coke.”
The Football League has rebranded its top division as the Coca-Cola Championship, while the former Second and Third Divisions are now known as the First and Second Divisions (MW March 25).