Coca-Cola cancels Ronaldinho’s £500,000 a year contract for being seen with Pepsi cans

Channels Television  
Updated July 15, 2012

Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho committed a fundamental cardinal marketing slip at a recent press conference where he was seen with two cans of Pepsi and the error has cost him, the £500,000 a year contract with Coca Cola terminating the deal.

The company said it had no choice but to terminate the contract which was due to run until 2014.

Ronaldinho reportedly took a sip from one of the cans during the question and answer session for his new club Atletic Mineiro which he joined last month.

The soft drink giant said it could no longer continue working with the two-time Fifa world player of the year. A statement released by the company read: ‘Coca Cola recognizes the career and the value of Ronaldinho.

‘However due to recent developments it has become impossible to continue the partnership.’

The mistake may not have been all Ronaldinho’s fault however, the Brazilian football club is sponsored by Pepsi and the cans are thought to be put on tables during press conferences as a matter of course.

Ironically the photographs, which clearly show the world’s former best player next to the two cans of Pepsi, have probably received more publicity since Coca Cola made the decision to cancel the lucrative deal with Ronaldinho.

Ronaldinho was speaking at the conference to help promote an upcoming game with Atletico Mineiro.

The loss of the Coca Cola contract is the latest setback in a string of problems the former Barcelona star has faced.

He left Rio de Janeiro club Flamengo on May 31 after suing the club for unpaid wages and bonus.

However, Flamengo have hit back and filed a counter-suit against him claiming he was unprofessional and showed a lack of commitment while at the club.

The 32 year old striker was accused of being lazy in training sessions, drinking too much and going out to nightclubs and parties too often.

It was reported on Brazilian news outlet Xinha that a marketing manager for Coca Cola said: ‘That was the last straw for the company but I don’t think it was the only reason.

‘He didn’t perform up to expectations and his name was associated more with negative than positive news.’