Simon Mowbray Coca-Cola has announced its biggest European launch since the introduction of Diet Coke 20 years ago. The soft drinks giant said it aimed to "take the lead" in the fast growing but "underdeveloped" sports drinks sector across seven countries with a revamped version of Powerade. The brand was initially launched in Britain earlier this year but was ushered onto shelves through the back door without any advertising or in-store support. Coca-Cola said it had now revamped the entire range and is set to back next month's re-launch with a £7m marketing spend which will include TV, print and outdoor advertising, as well as sponsorship and "extensive" sampling. It is still unclear what form future backing could take, although the Coca-Cola Company has notably signed a high profile deal with world football body FIFA to become one of the major sponsors of next summer's World Cup finals in Japan and korea. Coca-Cola Great Britain said a special formulation and brand positioning had been developed specifically for the UK market following research among consumers. Packaged in a functional, re-sealable squeeze and glug' 500ml sports-cap bottle, the drink comes in three flavours ­ Ice Storm (berry), Gold Rush (mango) and Citrus Charge (citrus), rsp: 89p. The isotonic refresher also contains a "unique" Liquid8 System, said a spokesman, which is designed to prevent dehydration and delay the onset of muscle fatigue. It will initially hit retailers directly associated with sport before rolling out to general sale. {{P&P }}