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Coke’s stock dipped nearly $2 in less than a week after Cristiano Ronaldo dumped the soda for a bottle of water. The soccer player’s gesture during a Euro 2020 press conference this week wiped $4 billion from the company’s market value after Ronaldo dropped two bottles of coke from the table and announced he’d be choosing the healthier option: “agua!”
The share price for Coca-Cola stock neared an all-time high on June 11 when it hit $56.16. That victory found has since plunged, with share prices trading at $54.67 on Wednesday. The devastating blow to Coca-Cola stock came after the popular soccer player issued a loud-and-clear statement to his fans: drink water, not coke.
The statement was made using only gestures and a single word, but fans around the world heard it, and so did investors. Cristiano Ronaldo looked disgusted as he sat for the press conference during Euro 2020 when he saw two coke bottles sitting on the table. He proceeded to remove the soda bottles and instead lifted up a bottle of water, a move investors weren’t happy about.
The Portuguese soccer player has always been a health advocate, but it seems Coke was the one losing the most from the diet, as the market value of the company was slashed by a massive $4 billion, from $242 billion to $238 billion.
Coca-Cola was quick to defend Ronaldo, instead of bashing the soccer player for his drink choice. “Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences,” as everyone has different “tastes and needs.”
A Euro 2020 spokesperson remarked on the incident, saying “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.” It’s up to the players to endorse the brand by drinking after games or during press conferences. It’s those endorsements, the spokesperson pointed out, that makes Euro 2020 and other tournaments possible.
“We could not organize a tournament with such success for players and fans, nor invest in the future of football at all levels,” the spokesperson said, likely trying to keep Coca-Cola as a friend and partner for future tournaments. That partnership started way back in 1988 when Coca-Cola began “supporting all sports at its various level,” sponsoring UEFA, and investing “in football at all levels.”
Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t the only loud dieter this week. Paul Pogba followed Ronaldo’s lead, having removed a bottle of Heineken beer during a news conference following his 1-0 win over Germany. The French midfielder is Muslim and does not drink alcohol. He made the public statement after being named man of the match, using his high-profile spot to show that it’s okay to ditch beer.
Heineken didn’t suffer losses as great as Coca-Cola stock did, however. At market close, the Coca-Cola stock was down, almost a full $1 from the night before. It’s likely that Ronaldo’s healthy sentiments have scared investors, as many believe soccer fans will ditch cola during the Euro 2020 tournament and quench their thirst with a healthier option.
It’s no surprise that investors believe Ronaldo has a heavy influence on fans. On Tuesday, the 36-year-old soccer player became the leading scorer in European Championship history with 11 goals. His recent victory over Hungary and fifth tournament appearance have drummed up a lot of buzzes, especially with his inspiring message to his 300 million Instagram followers.
“You have to know how to suffer, fight to the end, and always believe with all your strength,” he captioned the post. “There are no easy opponents or games won straight away. The European Championship is a luxury stage where only the best of the best are present and where every victory has to be won with all the determination and selflessness. Big win, team!”