Coke has hired 6 student bloggers from China, Germany, Italy, Canada, Austria and the US to write about the Winter Olympics, for a new site called Torino Conversations.
Coke is paying to fly and house them and the bloggers and the bloggers have agreed to keep their posts positive. Coke sponsorship is subtle and is linked with their softdrink sponsorship of the Olympics. The site allows for podcasting, the posting of photos and comments from readers. The site follows a similar site initiative last year from Visa setup to encourage Olympic hopefuls to blog about their journey.
I think these are good attempts at bringing real stories from real people, and providing a hosting media channel to spread the message louder than the standard blogging clutter. Expect this trend to continue.