SBD/Getting On The Board Early/Sponsorships

Coca-Cola Reportedly May Drop Wayne Rooney In Wake Of Scandal

Wayne Rooney's Endorsement Deal With Coca-Cola Dates Back To '03
Coca-Cola is said to be "on the verge of ditching" Manchester United F Wayne Rooney because company officials are "horrified and bewildered by his reported use of prostitutes," according to Gallagher & Nicholl of the London DAILY MAIL. Officials at Coca-Cola's HQs "were angry" when Rooney -- who advertises Powerade as part of an approximately US$924,000 per year sponsorship -- was "photographed in June smoking, urinating against a wall and singing raucously." The "latest allegations have left them believing ‘enough is enough.'" Coca-Cola execs at the company's London offices are "said to be desperately fighting" to keep Rooney as an endorser. Rooney earns about US$3.9M annually from four sponsors -- Coca-Cola, EA Sports, Nike and Harper Collins. Gallagher & Nicholl reported parent groups "want them to end the contracts because he has set an ‘appalling’ example to children" (London DAILY MAIL, 9/12). The N.Y. POST reported Coca-Cola officials in Atlanta reportedly "ordered the London office to sever ties with the soccer player." The London office is said to be "resisting the move, arguing that Rooney was signed up to attract young men to the brand rather than to burnish its family image." A final decision is "expected in the next two weeks," and sources indicated that "London is expected to lose the tussle." Rooney's relationship with Coca-Cola dates back to '03. To date, Nike and EA Sports "have expressed support for Rooney (NYPOST.com, 9/12).
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