Thanks to Melanie Nesheim for sending me a link to Russ Greene’s (The Russells) account of Nick Jonas’s dispute with Crossfit over its posting of this image.
As best as I can tell, here’s what happened.
Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, who has Type 1 diabetes, sent out a tweet objecting to this image as insulting to people with type 1 diabetes. Note: Sugary beverages are a not a risk factor for type 1 diabetes but they are for type 2 (see, for example this, this, and this).
Russ Greene entered the fray with a tweet pointing out that Coca-Cola sponsors the Jonas Brothers’ concerts.
Apparently, this caught the attention of Good Morning America.
A spokesman for Nick Jonas denied that he had any kind of deal with Coca-Cola.
Maybe not, but as Mr. Greene pointed out, Coca-Cola presents or sponsors the concerts and advertises that it does so.
My conclusions from this incident:
- In taking on CrossFit’s critique of the role of sugary drinks in diabetes, Nick Jonas became a de facto spokesman for Coca-Cola.
- Coca-Cola’s support of Jonas Brothers’ concerts paid off.
- Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of musicians and sports figures buys loyalty and deflects attention from the well documented role of sugary drinks in type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.
And, of course, I examine this sort of sponsorship in much greater detail in my forthcoming Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), which comes out in October.