The Golden Eagle Promotion: How Sprite Bottles Became a National Park Service Advertisement

I comprehend that you may be inquisitive, why is Sequoia National Park portrayed at the bottom of a 1960s-1970s Sprite bottle? That’s a superb inquiry!

In the 1930s, when a Coca-Cola advertisement started, bears in Yellowstone National Park (Hanna n.D.) Were seen consuming Coca-Cola. Subsequently, additional advertisements featured cowboys enjoying Coca-Cola and showcasing the beautiful landscapes of the national park. The National Park Service and Coca-Cola have a significant and enduring partnership.

How does our Sprite bottle from Sequoia National Park fit into the scene?

The Annual Pass for the National Park Service in 2019 has replaced and discontinued the Golden Eagle Passport. This advertisement was distributed to the public, and many bottles of the national park/monument were produced by various manufacturers. This led to a partnership between Coca-Cola and the National Park Service for a promotion. The promotion included a sweepstakes with a grand prize of $33,000, and a bottle cap that urged people to “See America.” The U.S. Government promoted a “golden” priced permit that would allow families to visit any national park or monument as often as they wanted. This promotion, titled Golden Eagle, was part of the promotion for national monuments and parks (Lockhart 2011; Hassett 2016).

Nowadays, bottle enthusiasts and beachcombing groups continue to gather these distinctive artifacts, despite the fact that they are no longer being manufactured (Hassett 2016, McCarthy 2019). The predominant method of labeling these bottles was through the use of white color labels that were applied and featured indentations along the sides (Lockhart 2011). It is likely that the most recent bottles of this kind were produced in 1978, whereas the initial Sprite bottles of this type were introduced in 1966 (Lockhart 2011).

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Since the 1960s, Coca-Cola has provided funding for multiple aspects relating to national parks, including programs for trails and recycling, as well as visitor education centers at Gettysburg and Yellowstone Military National Parks. Additionally, funding is allocated for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. These collaborations between the two groups, Eagle Golden Promotion and Coca-Cola, can be seen as the most recent time we observe such partnerships.

Future excavations on campus will ideally result in the production of additional distinctive Sprite bottles. Both bottles were manufactured by Anchor Hocking (Lockhart et al. N.D. (A)). One of them features Isle Royale National Park, while the other one showcases Olympic National Park on its base. Additionally, as a result of the 2020 Service Road excavations, two more Sprite bottles from the Golden Eagle era have been documented subsequent to CAP’s identification of the Sprite bottle from Sequoia National Park.


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