Premium water brand smartwater®, owned by The Coca-Cola Company, has signed a partnership with Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), to be the official and exclusive beverage partner for the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022. The Olympiad will be held in Chennai, India from 28 July to 10 August 2022. This will be the first Chess Olympiad to take place in the country.
Now sold as a premium product globally, smartwater® was first introduced in 1996 in the United States, and by 2016 it was one of the top five bottled water brands in that country, with sales worth nearly $830 million in 2017. Barely two years later, India was already the fourth largest market globally for the brand, with a presence in over 10,000 outlets across the country.
Karthik Subramanian, Director, Marketing, Hydration Coffee and Tea Category, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia said, “Made through vapour distillation, water is evaporated to remove impurities, condensed and then re-mineralized with electrolytes for a crisp, pure taste, making smartwater® a premium hydrating beverage. We are proud to partner with the first-ever Chess Olympiad taking place in India, as rehydration will be an important need for the participants, especially taking into account the high temperatures in Chennai at the time.”
The brand is also available in other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, The United Arab Emirates, Croatia, Singapore, Serbia, Romania, Malaysia, and Canada. Renowned global celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Gal Gadot, and Zendaya, have endorsed smartwater®. In India as well, the brand has leveraged local celebrity brand ambassadors Rana Daggubati and Radhika Apte to drive brand edge, all the while experimenting with digital marketing strategies and expanding distribution in select channels to retain its position as a premium offering.
In 2019, Smartwater alkaline and Smartwater antioxidant were introduced globally to meet the growing desire for hydration options throughout the day. These global innovations have continued with the launch of Smartwater flavors—inspired by the lightly infused waters found at spas— Smartwater sparkling, and Smartwater+, infused with a range of fruit essences and rejuvenating extracts.
Coca-Cola India will supply 70,000 bottles of smartwater®, to ensure that the participants in the Olympiad will stay hydrated, which is important for them to perform at their highest level.