Ronaldinho Loses Coca-Cola Sponsorship for Appearing with Pepsi Cans at News Conference

| by Alex Groberman

Ronaldinho has gotten a lot of headlines as of late. Too bad none of them have been good.

What was the Brazilian star’s most recent gaffe? You’ll laugh.

Ronaldinho lost his massive sponsorship with Coca-Cola -- which was supposed to run through 2014 -- after the company decided that one of his news conferences reflected poorly on them. No, not because he said something abrasive or somehow insulted a large portion of Coca-Cola’s fans; it was because the footballer didn’t properly check out his surroundings before doing the event.

As noted by Sports Business Daily:

In the last month, Ronaldinho left Brasileiro's Flamengo FC, "the team with the largest fan base" in Brazil, sued the club for R$40M ($19.7M), and appeared at an introductory news conference with his new club Atletico Mineiro "surrounded by Pepsi cans." In a statement, Coca-Cola Brasil cited "recent events" as the reason for the break-up.

Reasons? Plural? So there was more than one reason? Per the same report:

With the decision, Ronaldinho will not receive any additional money from the company nor will the drink manufacturer have to pay a fine. Institution ESPM Marketing Dir Marcelo Pontes said, "The fact that the player appeared with a Pepsi can was the last drop for Coca-Cola, but it probably was not the only motive for the decision

Obviously this was just a classic case of Coca-Cola being salty about Ronaldinho’s messy divorce from his old club and looking for a reason to cut ties. Does anyone actually believe that, if he were in the press for positive reasons right now, anyone would kill a sponsorship agreement because of something as dumb as him being seen with a rival company’s product?

Of course not.

Hope Solo tests positive for a banned substance and gets a warning. Ronaldinho does a news conference with two Pepsi cans in front of him and loses over half a mil per year.

Fair world.

(Kudos Sports Business Daily)

Photo Credit: 101 Great Goals

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