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Ronaldinho Sips From Wrong Cola, Pays Price

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 13, 2012 11:01 AM

Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho was the FIFA World Player of the Year back in 2004 and 2005, but the 32-year-old is starting to show his age a bit and didn’t even get placed on the nation’s Olympic team. He left his last club team, Flamengo, and sued them, only to be countersued.

Now he’s got another problem. He has a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola that paid him $750,000 annually through 2014. That should be a good thing, right? Well, it was until Ronaldinho was spotted having a cola at a news conference. A Pepsi cola. Not his strongest move.

Coke has terminated the deal and canned the soccer star, NESN reports, and now Ronaldinho doesn’t have as many quarters rolling in to use in whatever Pepsi machines he comes across.

"Coca Cola recognizes the career and the value of Ronaldinho," the beverage giant said in a statement. "However due to recent developments, it has become impossible to continue the partnership." 

ESPM marketing manager Marcelo Pontes told Xinhua that the fateful sip wasn’t the only reason the deal was killed. "He didn't perform up to expectations and his name was associated more with negative than positive news," Pontes said.

Now we know somebody who definitely won’t be having a Coke and a smile.

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