Coca-Cola Drops Ronaldinho Just Months After Signing Sponsorship Deal
Coca-Cola has "decided to cancel" its R$1.5M ($737,400) a year sponsorship with Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho Gaucho, according to Scheller & Gazzoni of O ESTADO DE S. PAULO. The deal was "interrupted less than one year" after it was signed. It was to run through the 2014 World Cup. 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. 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" (O ESTADO DE S. PAULO, 7/9).