While few people would have expected Wayne Rooney’s reputation to be intact after the latest allegations about this private life, his major sponsors Coca-Cola would have hoped they had escaped the fallout from the most recent scandal surrounding England’s star striker.
Unfortunately for the fizzy drink brand, which has a reported £600,000-a-year sponsorship deal with Rooney, the latest BrandIndex data shows that this is not the case.
The first reports of Rooney’s most recent encounter with a prostitute, while his wife Coleen was pregnant, appeared in the press on Sunday 5th September.
As such his private life became a topic of national conversation and his link to Coca-Cola subsequently affected the brand’s scores. The brand’s ‘Reputation’ score, which measures whether respondents would be proud or embarrassed to work for a brand in their current role, stood at 32pts on 6th September and had fallen to 22pts by 9th September. The ‘Buzz’ for Coca-Cola also fell, from 11pts on 6th September to 7pts on the 9th, after the story became public knowledge
The Daily Mail reported on 13th September that Coca-Cola was due to axe Rooney from his contract. On 14th September, the brand’s ‘Reputation’ measure stood at 36pts and has since been on a downward trend, currently standing at 23pts, as they have failed to let him go. Interestingly, when Tiger Woods’ private life was over the world’s newspapers last December, the Corporate Reputation score of Nike, his major sponsor, fell from 36pts on 3rd to 23pts on 16th and in the long run Nike stuck by him.
Although Coca-Cola has yet to release Rooney from his contract, the effect of any decision will be monitored in the coming days and weeks by BrandIndex. This comment from the TellYouGov Leaderboard seems to reflect the current sentiment towards Rooney.