AS SOCCER star Cristiano Ronaldo sat down for a press conference at the European Championship on Monday, he pushed aside two Coca-Cola bottles placed in front of him.
“Água,” he said in Portuguese, picking up a bottle of water and seemingly encouraging others to do the same. “No Coca-Cola.”
The simple gesture had a swift and dramatic impact: the soft drinks giant’s market value fell $4 billion (about R56.32bn), highlighting the power and impact that celebrities and influencers can have on the market.
The 36-year-old Juventus star, who has almost 300 million followers on his personal Instagram account, is known for maintaining strict physical and eating regimens and has previously criticised the consumption of soft drinks.
The company’s share price dropped from $56.10 to $55.22 quickly after Ronaldo’s slight, marking a 1.6 percent fall. The market value of Coca-Cola went from $242bn to $238bn, according to the Nasdaq index and the New York Stock Exchange.
The soft-drink manufacturer’s shares continued to slide on Wednesday, falling by 1.34 percent to $54.67.
The Union of European Football Associations (Uefa), the governing body for soccer in the region, issued a brief a statement noting that players are offered water, Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar at press conferences, and they “can choose their preferred beverage”.
“Coca-Cola offers a range of drinks to suit different tastes and needs, which are available to players throughout the tournament,” the statement added.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of Euro 2020, said in an email sent to The Washington Post that the company “did not have anything further to add” to the Uefa statement.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has previously expressed his aversion to soft drinks, admitting during an event that he was furious at his sons when he caught them drinking Coca-Cola or Fanta.
His disapproval was praised by American football star Tom Brady, who has credited his strict diet with his long and successful career.
On Tuesday, Ronaldo set the record for most career goals at the European Championship with 11, after scoring twice in Portugal’s 3-0 victory over Hungary.
Other superstars and social media influencers have similarly rocked a product’s value within the span of minutes. When billionaire Elon Musk tweeted in May that Tesla, which manufactures electric vehicles, was suspending car purchases using Bitcoin, hundreds of billions of dollars were wiped off the cryptocurrency market.
Similarly, positive tweets from Musk and other celebrities prompted a major boost to the market value of Dogecoin, a different cryptocurrency, which has been dubbed the “Elon Effect”.
The Washington Post