Monday December 4, 2023

Gatorade Adds Lillard to Athlete Portfolio as Sports Drink Wars Heat Up

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The battle for sports drink supremacy continues to heat up as companies add big-name athletes to their endorsement portfolios. Gatorade made the latest move, signing five-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard on Friday.

The PepsiCo-owned giant maintains a more than 70% market share of the industry, but newer entrants like BodyArmor and BioSteel — along with stalwart Powerade — continue to push.

Budding Competitors

  • BodyArmor: The upstart — which recently surpassed Powerade as No. 2 in convenience stores — has athlete-partners like Mike Trout, James Harden, Naomi Osaka and Megan Rapinoe. It also has official deals with MLS, UFC and the US Open. 
  • BioSteel: The Canadian company has secured three NBA team deals as it has expanded its U.S. distribution, adding the Philadelphia 76ers this week to its partnerships with the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks. Its athlete-partner portfolio is stacked with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Connor McDavid.
  • Ready Nutrition: Still in its nascent stages, the Pennsylvania-based startup has gotten investments from two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

Feeling The Chill: Lillard will star in a campaign for Gatorade’s new Bolt24 beverages, a lower-calorie line with antioxidant and caffeinated options. 

He joins a growing Gatorade basketball roster that includes Zion Williamson, Karl Anthony Towns, Paul George, Jayson Tatum and Elena Delle Donne. Last month, Gatorade also added 23-year-old golfer Matthew Wolff, who is also launching with a campaign for Bolt24.

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