Ronaldinho Loses Whooping $500 000 After Being Caught Drinking Pepsi
The Rise and Fall of Ronaldinho’s Sponsorship Deal with Coca-Cola
Ronaldinho, a former Barcelona playmaker, is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time. With his mesmerizing skills and creative flair, he captivated audiences across the globe and became a household name. During his illustrious career, he also became a popular endorser of various brands, including Coca-Cola. However, a controversial incident during his spell at Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro led to the termination of his sponsorship deal with the drinks giant. In this article, we will explore the rise and fall of Ronaldinho’s partnership with Coca-Cola.
The Infamous Press Conference
Ronaldinho had just joined Atletico Mineiro when he was asked to participate in a press conference. As a Coca-Cola endorser, he was expected to display the brand’s products during the event. However, during the conference, he sat beside two cans of Pepsi, Coca-Cola’s main competitor. This move raised eyebrows, especially since Mineiro was sponsored by Pepsi at the time.
According to reports, the cans were placed on the table as part of the conference procedure. However, rumours began to circulate that Ronaldinho had taken a sip from one of the cans, which was seen as a direct snub to Coca-Cola. The incident created a media frenzy and put Ronaldinho’s sponsorship deal in jeopardy.
A few days after the press conference, Marcelo Pontes, Coca-Cola’s marketing chief, told the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo that the incident was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” He went on to say that “the sponsorship had become embarrassing” and that it was impossible to continue the partnership.
Coca-Cola also released a statement, acknowledging Ronaldinho’s career and value but stating that recent developments had made it impossible to continue the sponsorship. The incident was a significant blow to Ronaldinho’s endorsement portfolio, as Coca-Cola was one of his most significant deals at the time.
The Coca-Cola Partnership
Before the incident, Ronaldinho had been a valuable endorser of Coca-Cola. The brand had signed him up in 2006 as part of a five-year deal worth $760,000 (£500,000) per year. The deal was set to expire in 2014, but the press conference incident led to its premature termination.
As a Coca-Cola endorser, Ronaldinho had featured in several campaigns for the brand, including TV commercials, print ads, and billboards. He was also a part of Coca-Cola’s ‘FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour’ in 2006 and 2010, where he accompanied the iconic trophy to various countries.
The World Cup-winning Superstar
Ronaldinho was a superstar on the football pitch, known for his skill, flair, and showmanship. He began his career in Brazil with Gremio before moving to Europe to play for Paris Saint-Germain and then Barcelona. At Barca, he won two La Liga titles, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice.
He also won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, playing a pivotal role in the team’s success. His performances at the tournament earned him the Bronze Ball award, which is given to the third-best player of the tournament.
The Atletico Mineiro Stint
After leaving Flamengo, Ronaldinho signed for Atletico Mineiro in 2012. During his two-year spell at the club, he made over 50 appearances and won the Copa Libertadores, South America’s most prestigious club competition. His performances for the club earned him a recall to the Brazil national team, and he played in a friendly against Chile in April 2013.