Coca Cola India Ltd is moving to 'de-emphasise' the Coca Cola brand in sports associations. It will pitch its other brands instead in the Indian market. The company plans to do the same to reduce the risk associated with sportspersons distancing themselves from sugary drinks, a report in The Economic Times said.
A Coca Cola spokesperson confirmed the development to the publication saying that the company has the opportunity to leverage its portfolio in an "effective way." The spokesperson added that it is common practice for the company in other markets and the same is now being adopted in the Indian market too.
Coca Cola has predominantly sponsored in different sports including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and International Cricket Council. The company's home-grown soft drink brand, Thums Up, on Tuesday announced plans to become a worldwide partner at the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo starting July 23.
This is probably the first time a beverage firm from India is partnering with the Olympic Games pointing that the company will still continue to feature in sports partnerships, the report said citing the company's spokesperson.
The controversy between Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo and Coke unfolded on June 15, when he moved two bottles of Coca-Cola kept in front of him for promotion during a press conference ahead of his team’s Euro 2020 match.
The American company went from being worth $242 billion to $238 billion – a loss of $4 billion, the media reports suggested. Marca reported that Ronaldo’s gesture had a negative impact on Coca-Cola’s stock price, as it dropped 1.6 percent following the incident.
"Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences, and we are focusing on expanding sparkling, energy, juice/dairy/plant-based, water/sports drinks and ready to drink coffee and teas to include more low and no-sugar options and drinks in emerging categories," the company spokesperson told the publication.
[Inputs from PTI]