Cristiano Ronaldo was credited with knocking $4bn off the value of Coca-Cola earlier this week when he snubbed the soft drink – but does the theory stack up?
The Portuguese football superstar pointedly moved two bottles of Coke from his desk at a Euro 2020 press conference and instead held up a bottle of water, underlining his preference by declaring: “Agua”.
Around about the same time on Monday, the share price of Coca-Cola showed a 1.6 per cent dip.
So did Ronaldo’s public rejection of Coke cause the fall? Well, no.
Sports industry insiders have since rubbished the notion, pointing out that other factors besides Ronaldo were likely at play.
Ricardo Fort. a sports sponsorship consultant who previously ran Coca-Cola’s partnerships, called the conclusion “clearly wrong”.
He added: “The entire market fluctuated yesterday and Ronaldo had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Sports sponsorship expert Tim Crow called it “complete nonsense”. Speaking to The Athletic, he added: American investors are not driven by what happens in a press conference ahead of a European football match.”
The proof that Ronaldo did not cause Coca-Cola shares to plummet comes from taking a closer look at stock market data.
Shares in Coca-Cola, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange were already 0.9 per cent down in trading before the press conference began, as Sportico details.
In fact, the share price actually climbled slightly after Ronaldo moved the bottles of Coke. It was up again on Tuesday, and has fallen further since.
So: Ronaldo’s snub was embarrassing for Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of Euro 2020, but not the financial hammer blow it might have seemed.
And the bottle of water he held up instead? That brand is also part of Coca-Cola.