Coca-Cola loses $4 billion in market value after Cristiano Ronaldo shuns Coke

June 16, 2021, 4:30 PM UTC
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo at Budapest for the European Championship. His shun of sponsor Coca-Cola sent the company’s stock price plummeting.
Robert Michael—Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola from a Euro 2020 press conference Monday. At the same time, the soft drink and snack juggernaut lost $4 billion in market value.

Ronaldo, captain of Portugal’s national soccer team and a health advocate, removed the glass bottles from view and asked instead for water in Portuguese, according to ESPN.

Following the scene, Coca-Cola saw its share price drop 1.6% to $55.22 a share. The company’s market cap dropped to $238 billion from $242 billion.

On Wednesday, the soft drink company’s stock price continued to fall in early intraday trading, briefly reaching $55.05, 2.5% lower than its 52-week high.

Ronaldo’s actions, which occurred ahead of the Portugal’s match in Budapest against Hungary, were brushed off by Coca-Cola, who in a statement told ESPN that “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” with different “tastes and needs.”

ESPN reported that players are offered water, Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar during press conferences, according to Euro 2020 organizers. Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of the tournament, which brings together national soccer teams across Europe. Its partnership with UEFA started in 1988.

Ronaldo went on to score two goals Tuesday as Portugal swept Hungary and continued its search to move out of the group stage of the tournament.

Correction and update, June 17, 2021: This post has been updated to correct spelling on Cristiano Ronaldo.

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