Picture it. Athens, 2004… The Puerto Rico Olympic Committee sent the nation’s largest delegation to the Games since 1992 due to the presence of a men’s basketball team. A total of 43 athletes, 32 men and 11 women, who competed in 15 different sports. This was a number roughly larger by almost 66% of the nation’s team size from the previous Olympics. And as if this wasn’t enough, on August 15th history was made when the Puerto Rican men’s basketball team beat the USA’s “Dream Team” 92 to 73. It felt as if there wasn’t a single person on the island who wasn’t watching that game live that day, just the same as there wasn’t a single Boricua who wasn’t proud of their flag in Athens. It was one of those spectacular moments in history that transcended the typical divisions within the Puerto Rican population. For the duration of the Summer Olympics, nobody cared about politics, religion, or the economy. It was a time to celebrate and Medalla Light, the number one beer in the market at the time, owned it. It was a perfect fit for the brand whose name not only translates to “Medal” but who became a market leader by capitalizing on its local roots as the Puerto Rican Beer.
Three executions were made that supported the celebratory Olympic spirit on the island. The first ran in premium placement across all national newspapers on the day of the Opening Ceremony. This execution also showcased the brand’s limited edition look which did not include their actual logo, but instead a variation that read “Mi Orgullo” (“My Pride” in Spanish).
The second and third executions (“Gold” & “Rings”) ran for the duration of the Olympics across multiple channels, including outdoor media.
Upon launch, the campaign became a trending topic nationwide with amazing on-air chatter. All mainstream radio and TV stations on the Island talked about the pieces. The highest rated morning radio drive-time talk shows and local TV morning news were buzzing about the executions and the positive message they portrayed. On August 29th, 2004, the Summer Olympics in Greece came to an end. Not a single athlete from the Puerto Rican delegation flew back home carrying an Olympic medal, but the people of Puerto Rico partied nonetheless. Athletes like Mabel Fonseca (wrestling) and Kristina Brandi (tennis) became national heroes. Then there was Carlos Arroyo, who became a living legend after leading the men’s basketball team to victory against Team USA. It was indeed a memorable summer in Puerto Rico, and although these summer games didn’t bestow the island with any Olympic medals, there were plenty of Medallas for everyone to celebrate.