Cristiano Ronaldo accused of ‘ambush marketing’ stunt at Euros

Footballing legend Cristiano Ronaldo has potentially landed himself in hot water with UEFA after facing accusation of ‘ambush marketing’ for fitness tech brand Whoop.

Freshly eliminated from this summer’s Euros after his Portugal side failed to beat France on penalties in Friday’s quarter-final, Ronaldo now faces further anguish with the very real prospect of a meaty fine from UEFA, European football’s governing body.

After Portugal’s dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Slovenia in the first knockout round last week, Whoop published the former Manchester United star’s heart rate data for the game.

This might seem fairly innocuous, however it has since emerged that Ronaldo is an investor and ambassador for the brand – which is not an official UEFA sponsor. This has led to accusations of so-called ‘ambush marketing’.

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Writing on X, former Visa and Coca-Cola head of global sponsorships, Ricardo Fort said: “This chart has been circulating today. Cristiano and Whoop is ambush marketing to Euro 2024. It is illegal and both the player and the company should be fined.”

“The post is about a UEFA match, 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.”

Any marketing activity undertaken by non-sponsors around the Euros is something that UEFA takes very seriously and a six-figure fine would not be entirely unexpected.

Ronaldo’s actions are slightly less blatant than Nicklas Bendtner’s famous Paddy Power pants stunt after his goal against Portugal in Euro 2012, which resulted in a fine of £80,000 for the Danish striker. The betting firm picked up the bill.


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