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The deal represents part of AOL's push to align itself with prominent companies from old-line industries such as consumer packaged goods, automobiles and retailing.
YOU HAVE REFRESHMENT!
Coke Partners With AOL For $64 Million Online Boost

Coca-Cola Co. has teamed with America Online Inc. for the cola maker's first foray into Internet marketing. The two-year strategic alliance is valued at about $64 million.

The move by Coke follows a similar move in March by PepsiCo Inc., which penned a marketing alliance on the Internet with Yahoo! Inc.

Under the agreement, Coke will pay AOL $24 million for access to AOL services. The two companies will then each contribute $20 million in marketing over the two years. There is an option for a third year.

The deal represents part of AOL's push to align itself with prominent companies from old-line industries such as consumer packaged goods, automobiles and retailing. In recent months, AOL has struck similar deals with Sears, Wal-Mart and General Motors.

"At first, we were really excited about the prospects of ‘liquid downloads,'" said Coke's chief marketing officer Stephen Jones. "But we found out that wasn't exactly what it sounded like."

Instead, the alliance will focus on movies, music and sports. Coke will also play a part in the promotion of brands such as AOL's Moviefone, and AOL will certainly benefit from Coke's sponsorship of the 2000 Olympics.

"We're very excited about this prospect," said one AOL representative, "especially since it doesn't have anything to do with that creepy Pepsi kid."

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