Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sent Coca-Cola stocks into a $4 billion tailspin and set financial markets on fire after a press conference where he purposefully moved two Coke bottles away from him and then raised a water bottle exclaiming: “Aqua!”
The presser took place on Monday in Budapest ahead of the national team’s Group F opener against Hungary. Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the 2020 Euro championship. Coke produces a number of brands of water in addition to soft drinks but the star’s apparent snubbing of the brand was all it took for the stock price to crater 1.6 percent, nosediving from $56.10 a share to $55.22 per share immediately after Ronaldo made his choice.
The market value of Coca-Cola dropped from approximately $242 billion to $238 billion. Later in the day, the stock would rebound somewhat but the cratering of the price was a shock to many investors. As of Wednesday morning, the stock valuation continued to dip even further.
“Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences and can choose their preferred beverage,” the Union of European Football Associations commented in a statement. “Coca-Cola offers a range of drinks to suit different tastes and needs, which are available to players throughout the tournament.”
(Video Credit: Yahoo Finance)
Ronaldo, the Portugal captain, reportedly has more than 400 million followers on social media. He has a massive influence among his loyal fans. Whether he just prefers water or was making some sort of health statement, his message seems to have gotten through. The player is an advocate of a healthy diet and he is famous for his dedication to health and fitness. He reportedly eats six meals and takes five naps a day, and avoids carbonated beverages and alcohol.
The soccer star is not the only player to react to the beverages made available to them at press conferences recently. France midfielder Paul Pogba also moved a bottle of Heineken beer away from in front of him while reporters took photos. According to ESPN, he is a practicing Muslim who does not drink alcohol.
— 𝗔𝘆𝘀𝗵𝗮 𝗥𝗶𝗱𝘇𝘂𝗮𝗻 (@ayshardzn) June 16, 2021
On Wednesday evening, Italian soccer star Manuel Locatelli mirrored Ronaldo’s actions before shouting “Agua” in his press conference after Italy reached the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
However, not all the stars are on board with giving Coke the cold shoulder. England’s Three Lions captain Harry Kane and team-mate Marcus Rashford signed sponsorship deals with the soft-drink company. They are running ads calling Coca-Cola “indescribable.”
Kane tweeted to his fans: “That indescribable first taste of Coca-Cola, similar to the indescribable feeling of scoring a goal.” Rashford doubled-down, writing: “I’d mark the first sip of Coca-Cola down as…well… indescribable.”
Scotland’s John McGinn joked about the beverage at his press conference on Thursday: “Any Coke?” McGinn smirked as he took off his face mask and sat down in his seat before facing the press.
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 17, 2021
On Tuesday, Ronaldo became the leading scorer in European Championship history with 11 goals. Portugal won 3-0 over Hungary in what was the forward’s record fifth tournament appearance.
He sent out a message on Instagram following the win to his millions of fans: “You have to know how to suffer, fight to the end and always believe with all your strength. There are no easy opponents or games won straight away. The European Championship is a luxury stage where only the best of the best are present and where every victory has to be won with all the determination and selflessness. Big win, team!”
This is just the latest hit for the soft drink giant. Coca-Cola has recently seen boycotts for espousing liberal politics as well.
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