Euro 2020: News Conferences and Product Placement

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Football ‘stars’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba have hit the headlines for non-sporting reasons.

The day after Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola on display at a news conference and replaced them with a bottle of water, encouraging people to drink water, Pogba removed a bottle of Heineken beer, which had been placed on display at his post-match news conference, and, without making any comment, discreetly placed the bottle under the table.

This was, perhaps, understandable as the French ‘star’ is a practising Muslim, who do not approve of alcohol.

However, ironically, Pogba had been awarded the ‘Heineken star of the match’ for his role in the 1-0 victory of France over Germany!

As regards the Ronaldo incident, Coca-Cola stoically commented as follows:

Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences.”

And added that each individual has different “tastes and needs.”

UEFA, it is reported, does not consider that the players’ actions raise any issues, despite the fact that both incidents involved the products of two of their high-profile sponsors!

Does this lack of action by UEFA set a precedent, as product placement is a common practice at sporting events news conferences?

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘’