Coke ditches Ronaldinho for sipping Pepsi
11 July 2012
Former Brazil and FC Barcelona football star Ronaldinho has lost a lucrative $760,000 endorsement deal with Coca-Cola, after he was caught drinking a can of Pepsi at a press conference.
The 32-year-old Coke ambassador was promptly ditched by the soft drinks giant for “embarrassing” Coca-Cola by drinking from its arch-rival Pepsico’s can of fizzy pop.
Ronaldinho’s endorsement deal with Coca-Cola was due to run until 2014.
“Coca-Cola recognises the career and value of Ronaldinho,” said Coca-Cola in a statement. “However due to recent developments it has become impossible to continue the partnership.”
Ronaldinho was speaking to the press about an upcoming game when he committed the ultimate disloyalty to the brand. Two cans of Pepsi were placed in front of him and he proceeded to start drinking from one of them.
According to reports, Coca-Cola had been tracking Ronaldinho’s career progress and personal antics and had been considering dropping the player for some time. The Pepsi incident was the final straw.
“The fact that the player has appeared with a can of Pepsi was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Coca-Cola marketing chief Marcelo Pontes told Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo. “The sponsorship had become embarrassing.”
Jenni Baker, London