After the removal of Coca-Cola and Heineken bottles by Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba, UEFA has urged players to respect sponsor obligations during Euro 2020. The governing body of European football reminded all teams about sponsorship duties during the tournament.
Earlier this week, Portugal star Ronaldo moved two Coca-Cola bottles during a press conference that attracted a lot of coverage across the globe. This small incident caused a huge uproar on social media and Coca-Cola’s brand image was severely affected. The company’s stock faced a dip after this move and reportedly lost $4 billion.
Coca-Cola and Heineken are the official sponsors for Euro 2020. It remains to be seen if these incidents really had an impact on the brand images of the two beverages. Some reports suggest that Ronaldo’s incident hardly had any impact on the evaluation of Coca-Cola.
The Coke stock drop (fake) news was published by @guardian, @espn, @marca, @g1, @exame, the knowledgeable @Ricamconsult, and a gazillion other people online. I am disappointed to see so many reputable publications spreading baseless theories. pic.twitter.com/Zrb7b0C0Zm
— Ricardo Fort (@SportByFort) June 16, 2021
A similar incident took place when France midfielder Paul Pogba removed the bottle of Heineken 0.0 non-alcoholic beer on the display table in a post-match interview after France’s clash against Germany. Italy’s Manuel Locatelli also replicated Ronaldo in the post-match interview. UEFA released a statement to address this situation.
“The teams are reminded participating teams that partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament and to ensuring the development of football across Europe, including for youth and women.”
It was also reported by Reuters that UEFA would not directly fine the players but could fine the national teams over this incident. The director of Euro 2020 tournament Martin Keller has also revealed that Ronaldo’s actions were the beginning of this controversy. He also said that what Pogba did was justifiable as the player is Muslim. This means that he is forbidden to drink alcohol and could not promote a beer brand due to his faith. UEFA is likely to leave out exceptions, but they would be hoping that other players don’t repeat similar incidents.