Rooney dropped by Coke as eyes turn to Olympics

Coca-Cola has ended its sponsorship deal with Wayne Rooney, opting not to renew the footballer's annual contract worth more than £500,000.

Wayne Rooney:  Manchester United player's deal with Coca-Cola ended
Wayne Rooney: Manchester United player's deal with Coca-Cola ended

Coca-Cola said 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."

The statement said that the company was "proud" of the work done with Rooney over the years, including the TV show 'Coke Zero Street Striker' and the 'Rooney v Rooney' Powerade TV ad.

It added: "Our marketing plans have evolved to focus on our sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the upcoming launch of our plans for the Olympic Torch Relay. We wish Wayne well in his career."

Speculation surrounding Rooney’s contract with the soft drinks giant was first raised in September last year, when tabloid newspapers alleged he had used a prostitute after his marriage to his childhood sweetheart Colleen.

Coca-Cola, together with Rooney's other sponsors Nike and computer games manufacturer EA Sports initially called the situation a private matter for Rooney and his wife.

But Rooney was subsequently dropped from a Coke Zero campaign that was due to place the striker’s face on thousands of cans and bottles of Coke Zero.

At the time, Coca-Cola said in a statement that it had "amended" its marketing plans for the Coke Zero campaign, as it did not appear "appropriate" to use Rooney in an on-pack promotion, but went on to say that the relationship was "ongoing".

The Manchester United footballer earns an estimated £5m a year from the club, while a deal signed with publisher Harper Collins has earned Rooney a £5m advance for a five-book contract over a 12-year period. It was reported as the biggest sports book deal in UK publishing history.

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