Euro 2020 (2021?) is in full flow after UEFA having to delay the tournament last year due to the pandemic, and one of its most successful players has been Cristiano Ronaldo, who has the most goals in the history of the tournament so far (14). The player has always been under the spotlight in football tournaments, whether domestic or international, not just due to his playing style but also his ability to spark controversies either in the field or outside. And this time, the subject of his controversy was none other than the infamous soft drink brand, and one of UEFA’s biggest sponsors – Coca-Cola.
In the press conference before Portugal’s second group game against Germany, just as Ronaldo sat down in front of the mic, his first action was to remove the 2 coke bottles kept in front of him; he then went on to gesture towards a water bottle saying, “agua” which means “water” in Spanish. Since then, the brand has been subject to memes all over social media, with reports suggesting Ronaldo’s snub caused a $4 billion loss for Coke in market value.
Now whether Ronaldo actually caused the well-established brand to lose value in market shares or not doesn’t have a clear-cut answer, since the water bottled he raised was also a Coca-Cola product, but it did cause a lot of brands to newsjack this snub to market their own products. Have a look at some of our favorite posts below.
Fevicol, the brand that became worldwide famous after a certain song was released about a decade ago, got into the fun by placing their product in place of coke in an innovative way suitable for a brand that sells glue.
— Fevicol (@StuckByFevicol) June 17, 2021
And other brands just followed through…
ab theek hai 😇 pic.twitter.com/0KoKstTAqK
— Paytm 😷 💉 (@Paytm) June 18, 2021
With Dabur India advertising several of their products with a UEFA Euro 2020 press conference stage as background.
— Dabur India Ltd (@DaburIndia) June 18, 2021
The only cola that keeps everyone cool 😎, Hajmola Chatcola! pic.twitter.com/G1lmT5qZC7
— Dabur India Ltd (@DaburIndia) June 17, 2021
— Vectus (@vectus_india) June 17, 2021
And of course, water and milk companies had to get in on the fun while health was being promoted by a renowed footballer.
— evian (@evianwater) June 16, 2021
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Ronaldo wasn’t the only one who removed sponsors’ bottles from the table, though. Paul Pogba, the French midfielder who’s also a practicing Muslim, removed the beer bottle “Heineken” from the table at France’s press conference before their game against Hungary.
After this, every coach and player started mocking the “Ronaldo move” by either drinking from the coke/beer bottles or just laughing as they came out for their press conferences and saw the bottles in front of them. A few other players followed suit and removed the coke bottles. After which, UEFA had to issue a warning for every team to not toy with the sponsor bottles at press conferences, or else they’d have to pay a fine.
Whatever the controversy that rose in UEFA after Ronaldo’s actions, there’s no doubt brands and audiences had their fun with the player’s actions. If you want to read more about such topics, or gain more insights on brands, visit Mainstream.