Cristiano Ronaldo is a worldwide celebrity, and whatever he does, both on and off the field, has consequences. When the 36-year-old arrived at the Portuguese media conference ahead of his side’s match against Hungary, he saw two Coca-Cola bottles and chose to put them aside, away from the cameras. Although Coca-Cola is a sponsor of Euro 2020, it was not difficult for Ronaldo to pass on a harsh message, as he encouraged everyone to drink water instead. Such a remark by the worldwide football sensation knocked US$4 billion off Coca-Cola’s brand value.
The Portugal captain is a well-known fitness enthusiast who made very obvious how he felt about the carbonated soft drink. He then held out a bottle of water and said in Portuguese, “Agua!” as if to entice others to drink it instead.
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Ronaldo is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. With over 300 million Instagram followers, he has a significant social media presence. Understandably, Ronaldo’s rejection of Coca-Cola went widespread on social media, with fans and publications from all over the globe taking notice. As expected, it had a detrimental effect on the beverage company’s stock price.
According to the reports, the share price of Coca-Cola fell from US$56.10 to US$55.22 – a 1.6% drop following Ronaldo’s act. As a result, the brand’s market value decreased from US$242 billion to US$238 billion.
Following the event, Coca-Cola decided to state that “Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” as people have different “tastes and needs”.
A Euro 2020 official also gave his opinion on the issue with the following words: “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”