Ronaldinho loses Coke deal for drinking Pepsi

Ronaldinho drank Pepsi at a press conference promoting his new team. (AP photo)

Ronaldinho drank Pepsi at a press conference promoting his new team. (AP photo)

Coca-Cola terminated a lucrative sponsorship deal with Ronaldinho after the Brazilian soccer star did the unthinkable: He showed up at a press conference drinking a Pepsi.

According to a report in the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, the press conference was held to promote his new team, Atletico Mineiro, of which Pepsi is a sponsor.

But that reasoning didn’t float with Atlanta-based Coke, which had a $750,000 sponsorship deal with Ronaldinho, scheduled to run through 2014.

“The fact that the player has appeared with a can of Pepsi was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Coca-Cola marketing chief Marcelo Pontes told the newspaper. “The sponsorship had become embarrassing.”

Coke had been dismayed that Ronaldinho’s name has recently generated more negative news than positive.

He left his Brazilian club, Flamengo, after suing the club for unpaid wages. Flamengo launched a counter-suit, which will be settled in a Brazilian court.

In May, Flamengo’s biggest fan group posted a letter on its website accusing Ronaldinho of being unprofessional for his conduct at parties and nightclubs.

In other news …

Coke approves stock split.

Coke contest promotes Gold Peak Tea

Coke bets big on India.

105 comments Add your comment

Jim S.

July 11th, 2012
3:25 pm

Uh…First…and Coca Cola’s just happy they gave him an excuse to drop him.


July 11th, 2012
3:25 pm

pepsi is better anyway


July 11th, 2012
3:27 pm

What a complete Dumb Ass!


July 11th, 2012
3:34 pm

Coke is soooooooo much better than Pepsi!!


July 11th, 2012
3:36 pm

More importantly, when is Coca Cola going to compensate the Bigio family for the property in Egypt that was stolen from the Bigios, and later sold to Coca Cola (who had previously leased from the Bigios)?


July 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

Chris- get out of town with that nonsense. Coke puts Pepsi to shame. Not even close.

Allison Wonderland

July 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

RC Cola is better than all of them.


July 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

The “Pep” in Pepsi is syrup of pepsin. The same syrup of pepsin that’s in Pepto Bismol.


July 11th, 2012
3:45 pm

What does that have to do with this story Tex? Not the point.


July 11th, 2012
3:48 pm

COKE is better than Pepsi! Oddly- pepsi’s fast serve strategy worked, though— b/c their deal with taco bell and pizza hut makes me prefer pepsi with my pizza or tacos..

Dr. Pepper is great than ALL!


July 11th, 2012
3:50 pm

This is one of those things that make you go hmmmmmm! Evidently, he didn’t need the $750,000 – me, I would have taken a bath in coke if I needed to!!!


July 11th, 2012
3:51 pm

DebDoes Coke. Enough said.


July 11th, 2012
3:55 pm

Ha! The Coke down there in South America can get him paid more than that in a single move. And I hear IT is the best ever!


July 11th, 2012
4:05 pm

More like who cares? Never heard of the clown


July 11th, 2012
4:11 pm

Hey Mr. Provano! You’re (supposedly) a journalist! The English language is your stock and trade. For goodness sakes PROOF READ your work before you publish!

“Coke had been dismayed that Ronaldinho’s name has recently generated more negative news that positive.” “that” should be “than”



July 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

Pepsi tastes waaaaaaay better than Coke. However, like someone else above posted, RC Cola tastes better than both of them.

Mountain Man

July 11th, 2012
4:16 pm

Dollar General Clover Valley Cola $0.85 for 2 liters. In these austere budgetary times that have left a bad taste in my mouth anyway, DG Clover Valley Cola tastes much better that Pepsi (Purchase, NY) and almost as good as Coca Cola. Once the Wild Turkey is mixed in, even the most discriminating palate can’t tell the difference. With $750K of Coke money in my bib pocket, even this ole boy has better sense than to show up with a jug of DG Clover Valley!


July 11th, 2012
4:18 pm

Coke is way better. The phrase ‘is Pepsi OK?’ should be their marketing campaign. It is so dissappointing when I order a coke at a nice place and hear that line. I say no and just drink water. It is not a replacement or a substitute. It is an inferior product. That is why people order coke by name. People who drink pepsi usually just ask for soda or pop. I was once at a restaraunt and the place had coke stuff everywhere and on the menu. Then we were served Pepsi. Apparently this small ski town had some weird contract with the distributer and the restaraunt got roped into the deal. He said it is the biggest compaint he gets. In vegas at the Paris Hotel they only serve pepsi in most the resort. There is a small sushi place that serves cokes. The sushi is good but they have line out the door of people ordering fountain cokes to go. Seriously, who wants and Jack and Pepsi.


July 11th, 2012
4:18 pm

Faygo is better than Coke.

Dawg Fud

July 11th, 2012
4:20 pm


That’s because you live under a rock. He was only one of the biggest soccer players on the planet and arguably the most notable in the western hemisphere 4 years ago.

His YouTube soccer tricks video only got a billion hits, Numnuts.

Really WHO?

July 11th, 2012
4:21 pm

He is the most popular athlete on the planet. The rest of the world watches soccer. Coke is very smart to try and grow in these markets. The US is saturated. Not much room for growth.


July 11th, 2012
4:27 pm

Grown-ups play soccer? I thought it was just something that moms in minivans drove their toddlers to.


July 11th, 2012
4:28 pm

I think if you did a blind taste test, and tried to pick the Coke, Pepsi and RC, you might be disappointed in yourselves. Coke and Pepsi are not really softdrink manufacturers, that’s just an incidental thing they do on the side, they are marketing companies.

5150 UOAD`

July 11th, 2012
4:31 pm

If he is the most popular player in the world why do I know other soccer players names but I have never heard of him?

Will the pill

July 11th, 2012
4:38 pm

Neither are better or worse than the other. It is up to the individual to decide. No one can force you to believe what you don’t want to believe. But they can cram their ads down your throats and make you think you “need” their products, al a’, Apple Corp. Let no company or person take away your INDIVIDUALISM, or they own you, body and soul and palate.

They are both good, let’s leave it at that.


July 11th, 2012
4:42 pm

Apparently he didn’t understand how the great American money making machine works re advertising.

Big C

July 11th, 2012
4:43 pm

For a Southerner where Coke was born, it’s the only thing they know. But, for a traveler who has been able to grow up on both, realize that there is a distinct diference, and know that Pepsi is a better product. Back in the day, they used to have “The Pepsi Challenge”, and Pepsi blew Coke out of the water! I guess it’s true what they say, “Ignorance is Bliss”.

Big C

July 11th, 2012
4:45 pm

Will the pill, I might have to agree with you!


July 11th, 2012
5:01 pm

IN MY FRED SANFORD VOICE “YOUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! BIG DUMMY’!!!!!!!!

Ignorant Southerner

July 11th, 2012
5:02 pm

Big C,

That is primarily true due to the fact that Pepsi was almost always the first beverage tasted. Due to the fact that Pepsi has more sugar in it, Coke’s product left samplers with a bitter after-taste.

Ignorant Southerner


July 11th, 2012
5:04 pm

Coke is better than Pepsi, but Diet Pepsi is better than diet Coke.


July 11th, 2012
5:08 pm

Well Coke needs to find a new sports superstar to endorse ASAP. There’s no telling how much revenue they’ll lose without this extremely famous adult kick-ball player in their marketing plan. Maybe they can land that other guy that is really good at running around the field kicking the ball around? That team he plays for had an awesome game that ended in a tie a while back. So most likely, he’s kind of a big deal.

Tap Out

July 11th, 2012
5:14 pm

In my opinion Pepsi is too sweet and has a weird slight aftertaste……that’s why it’s vodka and Coke…NOT…vodka and pepsi. Consumers around the world have clearly shown which product is superior, regardless of those goofy pepsi challenges back in the day. I guarantee pepsi would trade in all those gimmick challenges for more worldwide market share. It’s fine if you like pepsi, but to say it’s a better product makes you sound like those folks still arguing that beta video is better than VHS.


July 11th, 2012
5:18 pm

Who orders Coke at a “nice place?”
Give me a glass of pinot, cab sauv, or even a merlot!
Sushi and Coke? Sake!
Although I grew up in the south, for me is it not “Always Coca-Cola,” I prefer being able to decide for myself, the “Choice of a New Generation.”
The Red Communist Coca-Cola can keep their product.
AND, I think that truth be told, soda in general is losing market share. People are drinking more water, fruit juice, vitiamin enhanced beverages and energy beverages.
Coke and Pepsi are on the way out.

[...] Loses $ 750k Coca-Cola Sponsorship For Being In Same Room As …Who Ate All The PiesAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Bleacher Report -New York Daily Newsall 381 news [...]


July 11th, 2012
5:33 pm

he should have had a bud light!!


July 11th, 2012
5:48 pm

Soccer….nuff said!

Have a Coke and a smile!!


July 11th, 2012
6:16 pm

Hey Alek, “proofread” is one word. If you’re going to criticize someone’s writing, try not to expose your own ignorance. His was a typo. You’re just stupid.

chek soda

July 11th, 2012
6:44 pm

chek soda is way better than all.

Obama #1

July 11th, 2012
7:16 pm

Looks like he should be getting a great deal with a teeth-whitening product or some orthodontist endorsements…..


July 11th, 2012
7:20 pm

That’s a guy? Looks like a picture for CARE


July 11th, 2012
7:32 pm

Yahoo! Mountain Dew! World’s best Soft Drink!

Name (required)

July 11th, 2012
7:44 pm

Hope you all enjoy your diabetes, if you live long enough to develop it. God only knows what all that high-fructose corn syrup is doing to your insides.


July 11th, 2012
8:05 pm

water taste better…


July 11th, 2012
8:05 pm

Smart move, now he will get paid cool million from Pepsi, he made a strategic move!!! MO money, Mo money….lol

another comment

July 11th, 2012
8:22 pm

I have had to take oops! containers of OJ that a coke executive’s wife bought at Costco and thought they were Coke products. They were bought for mixers for a bar. He was exploding that he could be fired it was in his contract. I said, I bought it, I will take it to my car trunk now, and throw it out in my trash can now. Please stop yelling at your wife, she made an innocent mistake in the ever changing market place. I felt like telling him you need to give her a list of what she can buy or not.

We had been on vacation before where they the parents could drink wine, and my kids could drink the Pepsi products but their kids were stuck with water. Certain markets at the beach in Florida are cornered by Pepsi. The resturant owners have told us they have tried to get Coke products to no avail.


July 11th, 2012
8:25 pm

Water is better than them all.


July 11th, 2012
8:48 pm

Pepsi is a better soda…note that I said soda.


July 11th, 2012
8:52 pm

Gosh, how could he? We should not have been able to pull a Coke can from his cold dead hand.


July 11th, 2012
9:41 pm

one of the finest footballers who have ever graced this earth. Who cares about this corporate nonesense.