Wayne Rooneys’ likeness will no longer be used for cans and bottles sold by Coca-Cola. The world’s most popular soft drink company announced earlier today that Rooney’s picture will be removed from all Coca-Cola Zero products sold in the store, but the company did say that they will still to use the forward under other forms of marketing.
Coca-Cola made the following statement about their decision to remove Rooney from the product:
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.
And Rooney has partnered with Coca-Cola since 2007 and his sponsorship deal is rumored to be annually around $750,000 dollars. Obviously the scenario is extremely similar to Tiger Woods situation nearly a year ago and Rooney will likely suffer similar financial losses due to his lack of endorsing the family man image that these deals require. Woods lost several major marketing contracts and similar to Rooney his personal brand of Gatorade was removed from shelves soon after his private life problems were revealed to the public.
Rooney and Woods similarities go beyond just soft drinks too. Both men were featured as the spokesman of an EA Sports video game and Woods’ game suffered their worst sales of the video game franchises history. Both men also have been endorsed by Nike and apparently enjoy to “Just Do It” as Jesper Parnevik joked of Woods private life problems. Rooney’s face is still used for many endorsements including the Champions League preview, FIFA, and several other products, but his naughty behavior off of the pitch will likely make his mug disappear sometime in the near future just like Woods’ face has disappeared from a large amount of products.
And also similar to Woods, Rooney’s form has considerably dipped this season with just one goal in six appearances. Woods of course struggled this golfing year to win a single tournament, but was also removed from the game for several months while he rehabilitated his private life problems. Rooney had a much briefer break before being flung back into the spotlight and his recent injury will only allow critics to further question his current state and future as a footballer and all of this mental trauma can affect a player’s confidence and their approach to the game.
I think it is undeniable that it has happened to Woods and it appears to be happening to Rooney as well.
Only time will tell, but at the least Rooney’s face will be on a less soft drink bottles over the next few years.