Star’s pepsi faux pas loses him Coke deal

2012-07-18 00:00

A SMALL slip-up just cost Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho a whopping $750 000 (about R6,1 million).

Coca-Cola has officially ended their relationship with the popular athlete after he was seen taking a swig of Pepsi during a news conference. The news was reported first in Spanish media last week, with headlines reporting Ronaldinho had “stunned” Coke executives by turning up at a press conference and sipping nonchalantly from a can of their arch-rivals’ fizzy pop”. Marcelo Pontes, marketing chief for Coca-Cola, branded the sponsorship deal “embarrassing”.

He told a Brazilian paper, O Estado de Sao Paulo, “The fact that the player has appeared with a can of Pepsi was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

A statement released on Monday read: “Coca Cola recognises the career and the value of Ronaldinho. However, due to recent developments, it has become impossible to continue the partnership.”

The mistake is the latest in a line of blunders by the two-time Fifa World Player Of The Year, who quit former club Flamengo earlier this year in a legal dispute.

As well as below-par performances on the pitch, the star has been dogged by allegations of unprofessional conduct, reportedly appearing at parties and nightclubs.

But as Atletico Mineiro is sponsored by Pepsi, his latest gaffe may not be entirely the former Barcelona man’s fault.

There is no word yet on whether Pepsi plans to offer the Brazilian soccer star a deal.

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