Football players ARE brands (bis)

Dear all,
On August 3, I wrote an article about football players being brands. They have values, vehiculate an image that brands and companies associate themselves with. Today, Wayne Rooney was dropped by Coca-Cola. He will no longer be the Coke Zero icon following allegations about his private life.

Manchester United stricker Wayne Rooney is dealing with the consequences of his extra marital affairs. Stories about him sleeping with prostitutes while his wife was pregnant, and him urinating against a wall the past summer displeased the Atlanta firm.

A US source has told the Daily Mail newspaper: “The executives at head office in Atlanta wanted to drop him straight away. They were bewildered by the stories and found reports of his conduct disgusting.  This is not something the American executives in Atlanta found acceptable at all. Coca-Cola is a family-friendly company and Wayne Rooney was brought on board to appeal to young people, specifically young men and teenage boys.”

Coca-Cola released a statement saying: “Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero. Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.”

Another episode which illustrates how player’s off the pitch conduct can lead to companies advertising turmoil. This said, the dropping or not strategy remains the companies choice. EA and Nike stood by the Manchester’s striker side. Rooney was supposed to get circa £ 600.000 from his Coca-Cola endorsement.

Will this have a knock on effect on having players being more careful in their private lives? Will players be more cautious to sign deals with brands “limiting” their freedom off the pitch? All those questions shall find answers in the near future. In the meantime, stay tuned!

Karl Lusbec

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7 thoughts on “Football players ARE brands (bis)

  1. Rightly so, he deserves to be dropped by Coca-Cola, and on form alone he deserves to be dropped by Manchester United.

    I hope the younger players will learn from Rooney’s mistakes, but I’m not particularly confident that they will…

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    1. Hi Will,
      He has indeed shown a very appalling example to kids, and the sponsorship sanctions make sense. However, I think ManUtd dropping him would be a bit too much.
      Young players should be taught values and conduct in football schools, it could be a start…

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  2. A case in point where ethics, etiquette and money go together. Or lack of costs big bucks! So it does pay to be nice……does this finally mean that nice guys come first?

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