A fairly innocuous moment during a pre-match press conference at the ongoing European Championship football tournament when Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo swatted aside two bottles of Coca Cola coincidentally shaved off $4bn in the drinks giant’s share price.
The 36-year-old renowned fitness fanatic followed it by holding up bottle of water before declaring in Portuguese: “Agua!”, appearing to encourage people to choose that instead.
Coca-Cola, one of the official sponsors of Euro 2020, issued a statement in response: “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” with different “tastes and needs”.
Euros 2020 spokesperson said: “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.”
With nearly 300 million Instagram followers, Ronaldo is brand influencer which made the move appears to be a lot more calculated than one would believe.
However, the move has prompted praise from NFL star Tom Brady and anti-obesity campaigners helping to highlight the negative impact of junk food sponsoring sporting events.
Caroline Cerny, Alliance Lead at Obesity Health Alliance said “It’s great to see a role model like Cristiano Ronaldo reject Coca Cola for water, setting a positive example for young fans and showing his disdain for a cynical marketing attempt to link him with a sugary drink.”
Ronaldo has previously worked on advertising campaigns for Pepsi and Coca Cola, suggesting he wasn’t always as opposed.