EURO 2020

Ronaldo's gesture wipes $3.5bn off Coca-Cola's market value

After Cristiano Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola from a press conference table, the company's share price took a hit on Wall Street.

Cristiano Ronaldo made history this Tuesday evening with his two goals in Portugal’s win over Hungary in Budapest, which placed him as the European Championships' outright all-time leading goalscorer with 11 goals, surpassing Michel Platini on nine goals.

But even before his late double-goal heroics that sealed the victory for Portugal, the Madeira-born superstar was already making headlines at Euro 2020 for his peculiar actions in the pre-match press conference on Monday -- actions which apparently led to the fall in the share price of tournament sponsors, Coca-Cola.

Upon his entrance to the press conference before he began fielding questions from reporters, the 36-year-old captain looked visibly disgusted to see two bottles of Coca-Cola on the table in front of him, which had been put there as part of a product placement agreement with UEFA.

But the product placement opportunity quickly backfired for the world’s number one soft drinks company when Ronaldo proceeded to remove the bottles from view, only to replace them with a bottle of water before stating (in Portuguese): “Water, not Coca-Cola”.

Cristiano Ronaldo at the press conference before Portugal's game with Hungary.

Coca Cola share price drops after Ronaldo incident

After Ronaldo’s gesture, Coca-Cola's share price on Wall Street fell from $56.16 to $55.22. That 1.6% drop in the company’s share price saw almost $3.5bn wiped off its market value, which fell from $242.14bn to $238.65bn.

Ronaldo is well known for the marketing impact he has on brands he promotes, but the impact of his actions on Coca-Cola’s share price also shows what can happen to a brand when he does the opposite.

UEFA and Coca-Cola respond

Following the controversy, UEFA came out to support sponsors Coca-Cola, stating: “Without the brand it would be impossible to invest in the future of football at all levels. Coca-Cola has a long tradition in supporting all sports.”

Coca-Cola also made a response following the incident, with a spokesperson assuring that: “Players are offered water, together with Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero, upon their entrance at our press conferences.”