SBD/June 9, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Error On The Play: A-Rod Endorses Vita Coco While Investing In Its Biggest Competitor

Rodriguez says he switched to Vita Coco after Zico changed formula to concentrate
Coconut water brand Vito Coco announced yesterday that it has signed Alex Rodriguez to an endorsement deal, but officials with rival Zico claim that the Yankees 3B "is an investor in their company," according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Zico CEO Mark Rampolla said that he "was surprised when he saw news of A-Rod's latest partnership." Rampolla: "Alex has been an investor for a couple years. And it's not chump change either. It's a hell of a lot more money than I ever invested in the company." Vita Coco CEO Michael Kirban claims that he "wasn't aware of A-Rod's past involvement with other beverage companies." Kirban in an e-mail said, "Alex came to us looking to do something this year because he's such a big fan of the brand." Rodriguez in a statement through his business manager, Guy Oseary, said, "Since Zico changed their formula to concentrate, I felt that the taste and functionality was compromised and that's when I started to only drink Vita Coco." In response, Rampolla said, "Not only do we have video of Alex drinking our product from concentrate, but we have him recommending it. ... If he truly feels that he made a better choice, we'll be more than happy to return his money" (CNBC.com, 6/8).
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