Even I, someone who barely follows sports, know that Cristiano Ronaldo is a global soccer star. Like, a huge one. And now I know that even the smallest actions by celebrities like Ronaldo can move the stock market in an instant. ESPN reports that his snub of two bottles of Coke at a press conference caused the stock value to drop by 1.6%, which doesn’t sound like a lot at first, until you realize that it was $4 billion dollars.
The scene went like this: As Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal’s national team, sat down at a press conference in Budapest to speak about his team’s first match in the 2020 European Football Championship (UEFA) against Hungary, he noticed two bottles of the soft drink in front of him. But instead of taking a drink, he moved them aside so they were no longer on camera. He then grabbed a bottle of water, held it up, and said, in Portuguese, “Water!” This is also how I react whenever I find a bottle of water.
Then Coca-Cola’s share price dropped, causing the drink giant to have to issue a press release about the whole thing. The company, a sponsor of UEFA said in a statement, “Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” with different “tastes and needs.”
Man, imagine having so much influence that markets tank because you did something so small! It sort of reminds me of soon-to-be-restaurant-owner Elon Musk jerking around the price of Bitcoin by persistently saying shit on Twitter. When Musk does anything, numbers bounce around like a yo-yo.
Then of course, a spokesperson for the soccer tournament had to make a statement, too, clarifying that “players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conferences.” Without big corporate sponsors, they added, “we could not organise a tournament with such success for players and fans, nor invest in the future of football at all levels.”
In the meantime, I’ll sit here writing with an ice cold bottle of water, raising it over my head, shouting, “Water! Water!” Did I move the market?
P.S.: Portugal beat Hungary, maybe because of Ronaldo’s water. They face Germany on Saturday.