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Coca-Cola’s Ronaldo fiasco highlights risk to brands in social media age

Coca-Cola’s Ronaldo fiasco highlights risk to brands in social media age

6/18/2021 8:24:00 AM

Coca-Cola ’s Ronaldo fiasco highlights risk to brands in social media age

Stars like the Portugal captain, with 550m followers, are beyond the control of sport sponsors

Last modified on Fri 18 Jun 2021 06.21 BSTCremove two Coca-Cola bottles from view at a press conference, and dent the value of the fizzy drink maker’s sponsorship of the European Championship, has highlighted the risks brands face associating with sports stars made powerful by the social media era.

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The Portugal captain, a renowned health fanatic who eschews carbonated drinks and alcohol, underlined his point by holding a bottle of water while saying “agua”, Portuguese and Spanish for water. The water brand in question happened to be owned byCoca-Cola

too, but the damage – by a major sports star with 550 million social media followers – was done.“It’s obviously a big moment for any brand when the world’s most followed footballer on social media does something like that,” says Tim Crow, a sports marketing consultant who advised Coca-Cola on football sponsorship for two decades. “Coke pays tens of millions to be a Uefa sponsor and as part of that there are contractual obligations for federations and teams, including taking part in press conferences with logos and products. But there are always risks.”

Major brands have never been able to control the actions of their star signings. Nike decided, stoically, tostand by Tiger Woodsas the golfing prodigy lost sponsors including Gillette and Gatorade after a 2009 sex scandal. However, Ronaldo’s public snub signifies a different kind of threat to the once cosy commercial balance of power between stars and brands, one born of the social media era.

“Ronaldo is right at the top of social media earners,” says PR expert Mark Borkowski. “It is about the rise of the personal brand, the personal channel, it gives so much bloody power. That’s what has allowed Ronaldo to make a point [about a healthy lifestyle].”

Now 36, the world’s most famous footballer has built an empire that has seen him make more than $1bn (£720m) in football salaries, bonuses and commercial activities such as sponsorships. What is crucial is the global platform social media has given him – half a billion followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – which has freed him from following the commercial rules of clubs, tournaments and their sponsors. He is the highest earner on Instagram, commanding $1m per paid post, and with more than $40m in income from the social media platform annually he makes more than his salary at Juventus.

“People are saying this is about athlete activism and there is some truth to that,” says Crow. “Athletes are taking a more activist view, we are seeing that, most recently in press conferences. And we will see it again.”On Tuesday, the France midfielder Paul Pogba, a practising Muslim,

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removed a bottle of Euro 2020 sponsor Heineken’snon-alcoholic 0.0 brand from the press conference table when he sat down to speak to the media after his team’s 1-0 win over Germany. Three years ago, he was one of a group of Manchester United stars who boycotted a contractual event for sponsors to protest at the club’s poor travel arrangements that had affected Champions League games.

Crow says the most important example of athlete activism came last month when Naomi Osaka, the No 2-ranked female tennis player, pulled out of the French Open after being fined $15,000 and threatened with expulsion by organisers forsaying she would skip contractual media obligations

because of the effect on her mental health. Read more: The Guardian »

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When will marketing idiots get the picture Product placement and scattering logos on everything is tacky and shows that a company is keen on investing in manipulation of consumers for profit rather than making their products better or paying their employees a living wage. No one cares The whole article is concerned with the loss of income & media image of products. At least Ronaldo & Pogba have shown their concern for the health of the youngsters that play sport rather than exploiting them & endangering their health. Ditto the journalist.

Coke’s share price had been declining since Jun 8th, this happened on Jun 15th, a day that saw the biggest fall in value since… Jun 11th It’s not social media- it’s corporations who pay little tax sponsoring sports, who’s athletes are already sponsored by corporations who pay little tax... That among other things make him G.O.A.T....... he's got nothing to lose by speaking his mind.

Boo hoo poor Coca Cola, a company that promotes a product that's linked to multiple chronic diseases. In 2020 they spent over $4B in marketing and made over $30B in profits. Yeah they took a hit but I think they'll be just fine. If most athletes were able to be honest, they would act as Ronaldo has. When Cristiano was poor 😂 CristianoRonaldo

It's called: I am not a leftist slut! Bravo, Ronaldo! « Fiasco » 🙄

Ronaldo snub wipes $4bn off Coca-Cola's market value📉 More than $4bn (£2.8bn) was wiped off the value of Coca-Cola after Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to snub the fizzy drink maker at a press conference earlier this week

Will pogba and him pull out of playing in champions league as Cole and a lager firm sponsor that Coke is a woke racist company and the people are over their 💩. Go woke go broke. Duck coke a una michelada no le hubiera hecho el feo ebbingcasa 🙄😂😂😂😂

Kane will NOT join Ronaldo and Locatelli in snubbing Coca-ColaThere have been calls for Kane to follow Ronaldo's lead but a move appears extremely unlikely given how he and England team-mate Marcus Rashford signed sponsorship deals with the soft-drink giants. what a load of trollop. We're supposed to believe these footballers telling us what should drink now? They'll be telling us to only drive a Porsche next..

Manuel Locatelli joins Cristiano Ronaldo in Coca-Cola bottle snub - but England are unlikely to follow🚫Manuel Locatelli has joined Cristiano Ronaldo in moving Coca-Cola bottles aside and proclaiming “Water” during a European Championship press conference

Please let Cristiano Ronaldo’s dismissal of Coca-Cola be the end of product placement | Rupert HawksleyIt was a great joy this week to witness the Portuguese footballer not so much endorse a product, as contribute to wiping $4bn off its market value

Ronaldo's Coca Cola snub sees company fall £2.4BILLION on stock marketThe soft drinks giant had, according to reports overnight, taken a £2.8billion hit to its share value during Wall Street trading on Monday and it was quickly pinned on Ronaldo. Aww shame Ronaldo won’t be able to support his Freee Gazzzza lol 😂 bdsfail He used to advertise Pepsi ... sup now. Maybe $Coca-Cola ditch his offer to advertise

Ronaldo’s Coca Cola commercial re-surfaces after he went viral for removing bottles at Euro 2020 Cristiano Ronaldo is being called out for making a big show of rejecting Coca Cola at Euro 2020 - after footage resurfaced of him advertising the beverage. Then he was a soccer star. Now he is a soccer super star. people change during their life. Some become better like CR7 while some others are trying to judge them from media and social media. CocaColaCo sue Cristiano for double standard and being opportunistic 🔥