You may have noticed that Coca-Cola shares dropped tremendously recently. The reason for such a drastic change? A single gesture from soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s right!
Coca-Cola Shares Plunge
It’s pretty incredible how famous celebrities and sports players can change things in an instant. That’s certainly the lesson Coca-Cola learned last week when soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo refused to drink the soda. At a press conference for the Euro 2020 tournament, officials had placed two bottles of the soda on the table in front of Ronaldo. Sadly for Coke, in the middle of the conference, the soccer star decided to take a drink – but he didn’t want soda. Instead, he moved the soft drink to the side and grabbed a water bottle. “Agua!” (water in Portuguese) Ronaldo exclaimed. Immediately, the world took notice: the soccer icon was urging people to drink water instead of carbonated sugary drinks. Still, no one could have predicted what would have happened next.
As a result of Ronaldo’s gesture, Coca-Cola lost around $5 billion in market value. Specifically, Coca-Cola shares dropped from $56.17 to $55.22 within a day, and just a few days later, the stock had fallen to $54.95. Since Coca-Cola is one of the sponsors for the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament, the company finds it important for players to endorse the product. And Ronaldo’s move might make it harder for athletes to disagree with corporate sponsorship in the future…
Cristiano Ronaldo Creates Changes
At first, the Euro 2020 tournament did not seem to be phased by the issue. “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences,” and that everyone “is entitled to their drink preferences.” However, things started to changes when Ronaldo inspired a movement. French soccer player Paul Pogba copied Ronaldo, except he removed the Heineken bottle from his tournament. Meanwhile, Italian player Manuel Locatelli also removed the soda from the table. As a result, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) decided to step in.
Afterward, Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen recently said UEFA had “communicated with the teams regarding this matter.” What does that mean? Well, the UEFA basically told players not to move drinks any longer. “It is important because the revenues of the sponsors are important for the tournament and for European football,” Kallen said in a briefing. There’s one exception: players with religious objections “don’t need to have a bottle there.”
So, where do things lie for the players who don’t enjoy soda or beer, but don’t have religious objections, like Ronaldo? Only time will tell, but it certainly does not look good.