Pogba Joins Ronaldo In Sponsorship Snub At Euro 2020
France midfielder Paul Pogba removed a Heineken bottle in front of him at a Euro 2020 news conference, a day after Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo removed two Coca-Cola bottles, sparking further debate over the role that food and beverage sponsorship plays in sport.
Pogba, a practising Muslim, moved away the beer bottle when he sat down to speak to the media after he was named man of the match in France's 1-0 Group F win over Germany.
Heineken, one of the official sponsors of Euro 2020, was not immediately available to comment.
Potential Brand Impact
Commenting on both Pogba and Ronaldo's actions, analyst Khalid Peerbaccus, senior consumer researcher at GlobalData, commented "While these acts may temporarily impact the market value of brands due to impressionable fans of the players, the long-term impact on these well-established brands is yet to be seen.
"What it does highlight is that the placement of such products at sporting events is at odds with the perception of health that the athletes embody.”
Ronaldo moved the cola bottles aside as he sat down to speak to the media ahead of Tuesday's Group F opener against Hungary.
The 36-year-old then held up a bottle of water and said "Agua" in Portuguese, making headlines.
The beverage giant's shares dipped 1.6% on Monday, wiping off about $4 billion from the company's market capitalisation, following Ronaldo's snub.
In a response, Europe's soccer governing body UEFA said: "Coca-Cola offers a range of drinks to suit different tastes and needs, which are available to players throughout the tournament. [...] This includes waters, isotonic sports drinks and juices, coffee and tea, as well as Coca-Cola."
Prior to the tournament, Coca-Cola had outlined its aim to use the tournament to showcase several brands in its portfolio, including 'sparkling beverages, sports drinks, water, ready-to-drink coffee and fruit-based drinks, with low, and sugar-free options', the company said in 2019. [Pic: ©Anton Ivanov/123RF.COM]