Portugal and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo knocked $4 billion off global beverage giant Coca-Cola company’s market capitalization earlier this week by removing two bottles placed in front of him. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, also a well-known fitness enthusiast, removed the two bottles of Coca-Cola and instead placed a bottle of water in front during a pre-match press conference. Soon after Cristiano Ronaldo’s actions, the New York Stock Exchange-listed Coca Cola company saw $4 billion shaved off of its market capitalization, The Guardian reported. Coca-Cola is the official sponsor of Euro 2020.
Immediately after removing the two Coca-Cola bottles during the press conference, the Portuguese Captain was seen holding up a water bottle before saying “Agua” in Portuguese in what appeared to be an encouragement for people to choose water over aerated drinks. Ronaldo, who is the highest ever goal-scorer at the European Championship, is known for his dislike for aerated drinks.
Earlier in December last year, the 36-year old footballer was heard saying that he does not like it when his son drinks “Coca-Cola and Fanta and eats crisps”. Ronaldo himself maintains a fitness level that has kept him in his prime at an age when most footballers start showing signs of burnout after a career spanning more than a decade.
Coca-Cola’s share price fell 1.67% on Monday’s opening bell on Wall Street. The share price dropped from $56.10 to $55.22. The market value of Coca-Cola went from $242 billion to $238 billion — erasing $4 billion in market cap, according to the report. Following the incident, a spokesperson for Euro 2020, “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.” The spokesperson added that everyone “is entitled to their drink preferences”.
However, Ronaldo’s snub is not likely to hurt the company for long. Adman Prahlad Kakkar, the founder of Genesis Film Productions, was quoted by The Indian Express saying that the move will affect the shares and market value of Coke, but only momentarily. “And these share prices don’t reflect the actual turnover,” he added.
Ronaldo, who holds the record for the most goals scored by a professional football player, is not alone when it comes to snubbing global brands. Tesla boss Elon Musk has been forcing sharp market movements by his cryptic tweets. Following Cristiano Ronaldo, France and Manchester United midfielder Paul Labile Pogba was seen also removing a non-alcoholic Heineken beer from his table. Heineken, another official sponsor of Euro 2020, saw its shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange fall marginally on Thursday.