afaqs! news bureau

Fitness company Whoop may just have landed their ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo in trouble

The company revealed Ronaldo’s performance stats post his match against Slovenia in Euro 2024, sparking accusations of ambush advertising.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal took on Slovenia in the round of 16 of UEFA 2024, where the legendary footballer had a rollercoaster of a performance. From missing a penalty, which left him in tears, to scoring one in the penalty shootout, to then celebrate the teams victory after a stellar Diego Costa performance, the match had it all.

However, soon after the match ended, Whoop, a fitness company which has Cristiano Ronaldo as an investor and an ambassador, revealed that the ace footballer dropped his heart rate significantly when he walked up to take his penalty in the shootout, implying calm composure in an otherwise highly tense match.

The stats were derived from a Whoop device strapped onto Ronaldo during his matches to monitor his physical well-being. However, Ricardo Fort, the former global sponsorship head at Visa and Coca-Cola, has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of violating UEFA regulations. On social media, Fort stated, "Cristiano and WHOOP is ambush marketing to Euro 2024. It is illegal and both the player and the company should be fined.”

He further explained, “The post is about a UEFA matches, uses the names of the two national teams playing, score, and a player on the field. They are implying an association with the event and that is illegal. Not having 'a competitor as a sponsor' isn't a reason to tolerate infringements.”

Ambush marketing doesn’t sit right with UEFA. In the past, a similar situation occurred with Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who received an £80,000 fine and a one-game suspension for displaying Paddy Power-branded underwear after scoring for Denmark during Euro 2012.

Ronaldo has also been very calculated in the brands he represents when he’s in his footballing avatar. In Euro 2020, he conveniently discarded Coca-Cola bottles during a press conference, while signalling to a water bottle- implying health benefits of not consuming carbonated drinks.

Have news to share? Write to us