Football superstars make waves in beverage industry by removing Euro 2020 official sponsors’ product placement

The Euro 2020 press conferences have seen an interesting spectacle of athlete’s reclaiming control as football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba made waves in the beverage industry as they faced the media.

While speaking to the press in Budapest on Monday prior to his national team’s match against Hungary, the Portugal captain removed two Coca-Cola bottles that were placed in front of him and replaced them with a bottle of water. Soon after, Coca-Cola saw its share price drop by 1.6% to USD55.22 and the company’s market value went from saw a USD4bn drop.

Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of Euro 2020, responded in a statement that “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences” and that Everyone “is entitled to their drink preferences”.

Potentially inspired by Ronaldo, Paul Pogba made a similar move at a press conference following his national team’s win over Germany when he took removed a bottle of Heineken’s non-alcoholic beer, Heineken 0.0, and placed it on the floor before speaking to the press. Heineken, also an official sponsor of Euro 2020, has not made any statements regarding Paul’s moves.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) tournament organisers responded by releasing a statement yesterday reminding participating teams that “partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament and to ensuring the development of football across Europe, including for youth and women.”

Adding to this, UEFA Euro 2020 tournament director, Martin Kallen, said players were contractually obliged “through their federation of the tournament regulations to follow”.

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