Coca-Cola drops Wayne Rooney

Coca Cola has ended its sponsorship of controversial Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.


Speculation that the soft drink giant was to axe Rooney started in September following allegations that the striker had sex with a prostitute while his wife Coleen was pregnant.

It is thought that Coke bosses in the US put pressure on their UK counterparts to drop the striker over fears that lurid stories of infidelity would taint the company’s family-friendly image.

Coke admitted in October to pulling plans to feature Rooney on bottles and cans. Rooney reportedly earned £600,000 a year from his deal with Coca-Cola.

He fronted a Coke Zero sponsored television show “Street Striker” on Sky where he helped amateur footballers develop their football skills and has also appeared in Powerade ads.

The company says in a statement: “Our contract with Wayne Rooney came to an end last year and we mutually agreed that we would not renew our relationship.”

It adds that its marketing focus will now switch to its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Rooney is currently facing a two-match ban for swearing at a TV camera after completing his hat-trick in the 4-2 win against West Ham at the weekend.

His outburst has not deterred sponsor Nike, which is sticking by Rooney. A spokeswoman for the sportswear company says: “We have worked with Wayne for eight years and he continues to be a Nike athlete.”


Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here