International soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo may have cost Coca-Cola billions in market value after snubbing its flagship soda at a press conference.
Ronaldo, captain of Portugal’s national team, sat behind two bottles of Coca-Cola during a Monday press conference for the Euro 2020 tournament. Ronaldo was there to preview Portugal’s upcoming Group F opener against Hungary.
As the press conference was starting, “Ronaldo, an advocate of a healthy diet, moved the glass bottles out of the camera frame and instead held up a bottle of water and said in Portuguese: ‘Water!’” ESPN reported. “Coca-Cola saw its share price drop by 1.6% to $55.22 soon after Ronaldo’s actions. The market value went from $242bn to $238bn – a $4bn drop.”
Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of the Euro 2020 and its drinks are offered to players free of charge at every press conference.
“Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences,” a Euro 2020 spokesperson said in a statement. Everyone “is entitled to their drink preferences.”
Ronaldo has long been critical of consuming sugary fountain drinks and sweets. He has said he tries to dissuade his children from drinking and eating them.
“I’m hard with him sometimes because he drinks Coca-Cola and Fanta sometimes and I’m pissed with him,” Ronald said in a December interview after winning “Player of the Century” at the Global Soccer Awards. “I fight with him when he eats chips and fries and everything, he knows I don’t like it.”
“Even my small kids, when they eat chocolate they always look to me and, you know, we have to be strong,” Ronaldo said.
Coca-Cola has recently been in the headlines in the United States, not because of the health of its products but because of the company’s apparent politics. In June, a North Carolina county voted to ban Coca-Cola vending machines in county-owned buildings over the company’s political agenda. As The Daily Wire reported:
A county in North Carolina is banning Coca-Cola machines in response to the company’s left-wing political agenda, saying they are going to fight back in the culture war.
“The left wing in America, they defund, they boycott, they cancel, they tear down statues — all sorts of egregious actions,” Eddie Harris, Surry County county commissioner, said. “The expectation from them is the opposing political side will cower in the corner and we’re supposed to accept that and it’s supposed to be OK. And it’s not OK.”
The county commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of banning Coca-Cola vending machines in county-owned buildings after the company criticized the state of Georgia for passing voter integrity laws aimed at securing elections.
Harris sent a letter on official county letterhead to James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola, saying that the company’s position was “wrong on many levels.”
Related: Georgia GOP Lawmakers Are Kicking Coca-Cola Out Of Their Offices For Trashing Election Reforms