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The moment of Ronaldo’s coconut signals a change in the balance of power in sports


The rejection of the strategically placed Coca-Cola bottles by Cristiano Ronaldo at this week’s Euro 2020 World Cup press conference has sparked controversy among sponsors and tournament organizers to limit the damage to approval deals.

Portugal Est by the Portuguese star who took a bottle of water on Monday, saying “Agua. “No Coca-Cola,” imitated other players, including Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli, and Frenchman Paul Pogba pulled out a Heineken bottle during a media outlet over the weekend.

The governing body of European football, UEFA, has contacted national federations to tell teams to avoid actions that could affect the tournament’s sponsors, each of whom has paid around $ 30 million to approve the competition.

But there are no special rules for the police on how players should discuss their corporate partners in exchange for the euro. And there was no reprimand for Ronaldo, who, according to one of the top leaders in European football, “is so powerful, no one can tell him what to do.”

That acceptance is a reflection of change balance of power on top of the biggest sport in the world. High-paid athletes seem more willing to challenge the media ու marketing deals made in their leagues և competitions if those financial imperatives clash with their well-tailored corporate image or sincere beliefs.

Ronaldo’s viral moment led some media outlets to claim that the incident had wiped out billions of the American beverage company’s market value. But Coca-Cola shares fell about 1 percent in early morning trading before the start of the press conference, which is a drop that accounts for most of the day’s losses.

Shares fell steadily these days, although he managed to recover some ground on Thursday, closing higher for the day at $ 54.95.

While Locatelli was joking, following in Ronaldo’s footsteps, Pogba is a practicing Muslim who pulled out a bottle of Heineken at a post-match press conference on Tuesday, despite being one of the Dutch brewers with non-alcoholic beers.

Muslim athletes celebrate their religious beliefs by refusing to participate in the marketing of alcohol brands and game groups. “We fully respect everyone’s decision when it comes to the drink of their choice,” Heineke said.

Last month, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka out The French Open, rather than attending mandatory press conferences, assuming they are detrimental to his mental health. Media access to players after the game is considered to be the most important part of the value of TV deals for tournaments.

Ronaldo He is known for posting pictures of his intense workout routine on Instagram, where he has about 300 million followers, and has expressed his opposition to storing fizzy drinks for his children.

Many of his sponsorship deals are in line with this picture of healthy living, such as offers from the Nike sports group ball Herballife Food Company, which helped him become the first footballer to earn $ 1 billion in his career, according to Forbes.

However, the player has previously appeared in ads for Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“I have to say that there was a collective eyebrow growth in the industry about Ronaldo, who has a long history of brand approval, some of which does not fit the obvious approach to life,” said sports marketing expert Tim Crowe. “There was great cynicism.”

Ricardo Fort, a former Coca-Cola chief executive who had spent nearly two decades managing the company’s sports partnership, said the incident was an example of a rights violation, and that the sponsor might be compensated.

Japanese Apon tennis player Naomi Osaka quits French Open instead of attending mandatory press conferences © Martin Bureau / AFP Getty

“Sometimes [rights infringement] The opponent who ambushes the event can come, sometimes it can come from the organizers, sometimes a player, ”he said. “In general, this is a big distraction for companies that have made a lot of investments.”

Although the use of the bottles as a product placement is a contractual obligation for the deals that UEFA has entered into with Coca-Cola և Heineken, according to a person close to the discussions, no trademark has claimed compensation.

UEFA said that players “can choose the drink of their choice” in the tournament. Coca-Cola did not respond to a request for comment.

Gareth Southgate, the governor of England, defended the sponsorship of the companies on Thursday, saying that “at all levels, their money helps to make the sport work”. That position was supported by his team captain Harry Kane, who added: “Obviously, sponsors have the right to do what they want if they pay for it.”

There have long been precedents for athletes preferring their own marketing deals to the groups in which they play. At the 1992 Olympics, the son of US basketball player Michael Jordan chose to wear the Reebok logo on his uniform with a strategic American flag, a gesture of loyalty to Jordan’s personal sponsor Nike.

But recently, athletes have gained more control over which brands they are associated with, largely through direct contact with fans through social media.

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Ossetian, the highest paid female athlete in the world has collected a collection of its own sponsors և big social media, which’s behind his brilliant game record, but because of racial injustice և sincere propaganda of mental health.

This race of independent-minded athletes at the forefront of sports is forcing the competition organizers and their sponsors to reconsider their long-term marketing strategy.

“Today, tomorrow, the next day, another billion coconuts will be added,” Crowe said. “But the question is. Is there a better way to do this? I doubt there is a better way to convey its message than to collect bottles in front of athletes. ”



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