Cristiano Ronaldo’s marketing power appeared to be on full display this week when his removal of two bottles of Coca-Cola from the podium at a press conference coincided with a $4 billion drop in the company’s market value.
Before speaking to the media on Monday in Budapest a day before Portugal’s Euro 2020 opener against Hungary, the Juventus star moved the Coca-Cola bottles out of the frame and held up a bottle of water before saying, “Agua.”
Coca-Cola’s share price dropped from $56.10 to $55.22 soon after Ronaldo’s gesture, while the company’s market value dropped from from $242 billion to $238 billion. Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of the European Championship.
A Euro 2020 spokesperson told The Guardian that everyone “is entitled to their drink preferences. … Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”
On Tuesday in a 3–0 win against Hungary, Ronaldo went on to claim the title of all-time top scorer at the Euros with his 10th and 11th career goals in the tournament, while also becoming the first player to play in five different Euros.
A day later, France midfielder Paul Pogba removed a bottle of Heineken, another UEFA sponsor, from the podium after a 1–0 win against Germany. The Manchester United star is a practicing Muslim and has previously stated he does not drink alcohol.
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