Coca Cola controversy

As Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed Coca-Cola at the press conference ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2020 opener, the move had a spiralling effect all across the football fraternity. The move also coincided with the share prices of Coca-Cola dropping down, wiping off about USD 4 billion from their brand value. However, industry experts don’t feel the two incidents were related.

Highlights

  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub at a Euro 2020 news conference has been a huge topic of discussion
  • The move also coincided with the brand value of Coke sinking by USD 4 billion
  • A market expert, however, has brushed aside any connection between the two

Ronaldo wasn’t pleased seeing Coca-Cola bottles placed on the table as he arrived to attend the press conference with Portugal manager Fernando Santos on the eve of the Hungary match. He put the Coke bottles aside and picked up a water bottle saying ‘Agua’, asking people to drink water over soft drinks.

While the move was to promote a healthier lifestyle, the fact that Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of Euro 2020, is bound to leave both the beverage brand and UEFA a little disappointed.

“Coke and UEFA will both be fuming,” sports marketing expert Tim Crow, who worked as an advisor to the beverage-maker for 20 years, was quoted as saying by The Athletic. “The fact is there’s an agreement between them, which all the FAs and players sign up to, and one of the contractual agreements is going to press conferences where you’re surrounded by the sponsors’ branding.”

It’s certainly not ideal that one of the most famous and most followed athletes on the planet makes a gesture like that. The sports marketing community will have raised more than an eyebrow in Ronaldo doing that,” he added.

A day after the incident, reports of Ronaldo’s move hurting Coca-Cola’s stock prices and brand value surfaced but Crow has dismissed any co-relation between the two incidents. Branding it as ‘complete nonsense’, Crow said that the investors in the United States of America are not impacted by what happens in a European football match’s press conference.

American investors are not driven by what happens in a press conference ahead of a European football match. It doesn’t work like that. Tonnes of stocks went down for several reasons but the two things are not related. There are a billion servings of Coke every day. I think they’ll be OK,” he said.