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via Reuters

via Reuters

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  Debate

Debate

Is Ronaldo's legacy at risk with these marketing accusations? Can he bounce back from this scandal?

Cristiano Ronaldo definitely can’t seem to catch a break. Already bearing the brunt of his poor display in the ongoing UEFA Euro 2024, the Portuguese superstar is now on the verge of being banned from playing in the European tournament. This comes after the Al Nassr star is being held guilty for an alleged ‘Ambush Marketing’ that is deemed illegal.

It all comes from his earlier partnership with a smart wearable brand called ‘Whoop.’ It is a fitness-tech company that manufactures health-monitoring products and Ronaldo is one of the investors and brand ambassadors of the American brand. Interestingly, in the previous round of 16 clash against Slovenia, the 39-year-old wore the smart wearable on his wrist. While that isn’t the issue, what comes down as the root problem is that the WHOOP released the data publically.

The wearable device worn by CR7 tracked all aspects of his health and performance, such as his heart rate, athletic output, and sleep quality. Additionally, it was disclosed that the Al Nassr skipper “entered a flow state and dropped his heart rate” when he took the first penalty for Portugal during the shootout, but his heart rate soared to 180bpm when Bernardo Silva scored the crucial penalty.

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Poll of the day

Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo's alleged illegal marketing should result in a UEFA ban?

Yes, rules are rules

No, it's too harsh

Maybe, depends on the evidence

I don't care, he's a legend

This doesn’t settle in the eyes of Ricardo Fort, the former head of global sponsorship at Visa and Coca-Cola. He took to X and accused Ronaldo of breaching UEFA rules: “Cristiano and WHOOP is ambush marketing to Euro 2024. It is illegal and both the player and the company should be fined.”

Fort added: “The post is about 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.” While the matter was initially thought to be limited to just Ronaldo, there’s someone else involved, though that individual appears to be safe.

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Ambush marketing at the cost of the UEFA has landed Cristiano Ronaldo in hot water

Aside from Cristiano Ronaldo, WHOOP also partnered with the Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk. Though the fitness brand also shared the Liverpool defender’s data online, it didn’t mention the UEFA competition. van Dijk’s day-to-day activities like the number of minutes he played soccer, sleep and nap time, as well as walking duration, were shared. Luckily, this doesn’t come under ambush marketing as all of these factors involve his activities in his own time.

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Notably, ambush marketing refers to when a brand takes advantage of others’ marketing campaigns to earn exposure and profit. This is often practiced in the sports arena. Either way, it remains to be seen whether UEFA would take any action against Cristiano Ronaldo and WHOOP. If they do, then it will turn out to be a major blow for the Portuguese legend.