Coca-Cola did not experience any direct sales impact from a high profile snub of its products by Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo during the recent Euro 2020 competition, its finance chief has said.
Ronaldo made headlines around the world at a press conference held during the competition, when he removed two bottles of its soda placed in front of him, instead holding a bottle of water aloft and declaring "agua", Portuguese and Spanish for water.
His action sent the internet into a frenzy and briefly wiped off billions of dollars from the company's market capitalisation.
'Take The Long View'
"You have to take the long view on these partnerships," commented Coca-Cola chief financial officer John Murphy. "You're always going to have some events that don't necessarily go your way and we just deal with them and manage them as such."
Murphy added that the company's "commitment to these major tournaments has not been affected".
In the immediate aftermath of the snub, Coca-Cola and competition organisers UEFA sought to brush over the matter, with the drinks giant issuing a statement to say that 'everyone is entitled to their drink preferences', while UEFA added, 'Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.'
Coca-Cola signed up as an official sponsor for Euro 2020 in 2019, with the football body describing it as the 'perfect partner' for the contest, due to its 'ability to unite people and bring them together'.
Ronaldo wasn't the only high profile player to snub one of the competition's main sponsors during a press conference, with France star Paul Pogba removing a bottle of Heineken as he sat down to speak to the media.
Coca-Cola raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts on Wednesday, as demand bounces back from pandemic lows for its beverages following the re-opening of theatres, restaurants and stadiums.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Picture by ©UEFA.com. For more A-Brands news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.