Athletes Get Serious with Gatorade’s New G Series

August 20, 2010

As the surge of exercise conscious Americans continues to grow, consumer brands are pumping up their product offerings – so it’s no surprise that Gatorade, a PepsiCo brand, has once again led the way in innovating the sports drink category and is an MMNPL contender. An original favorite of sport fanatics, professional and amateur athletes all over the world, the brand has now developed products to fuel fitness before, during, and after the workout with the new G Series line.

The research conducted by Gatorade for the G Series included interviewing more than 10,000 young athletes, parents, and trainers. Many admitted to consuming carbohydrates before a game, an energy drink during the game, and protein after the game. Gatorade sought to create drink solutions for the total nutritional spectrum when they engineered the three part system that includes: A) 01 Prime: a carb-delivering drink to be consumed before the workout, B) 02 Perform: a low-calorie thirst-quencher that provides electrolytes and is a repackaged version of G2, and C) 03 Recover: which is packed with protein to build muscles post-workout. Gatorade hopes to establish itself as far more than just a sports drink.

Gatorade is estimated to have spent close to $30 million on product development and packaging for the G Series campaign. The campaign, designed to generate awareness and trial of the G Series, focuses on athletic performance. To educate athletes, coaches, and parents about heat related illnesses, Gatorade partnered with the NFL and launched the Beat the Heat Campaign, which featured NFL players, coaches, and their families emphasizing the importance of proper hydration and nutrition. The cause marketing campaign raises funds for two organizations specializing in preventing heat-related illnesses, the Korey Stringer Institute and the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation. Sports stars Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Landon Donovan and others star in the G series promotions, and the brand’s YouTube channel and website feature videos of each in the “G Series Locker Room.”

In May 2010, Gatorade launched the G Series Pro – a version of the three-part system targeted toward more serious athletes – and distributed it through GNC nutrition stores and their network of nearly 5,500 outlets in the U.S. They also launched G Natural, which includes all natural ingredients and is available at Whole Foods.

With this beverage introduction, Gatorade is asking retailers to provide more shelf space, and consumers to invest in three separate products – two significant challenges. Will G Series offer the ultimate hydration tools and re-establish Gatorade’s grasp on the rinks, fields, and ball courts of the country? Or will one-step beverages continue to rule? The result could depend on how well Gatorade leverages influencers to change the way consumers think about hydration.

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Gatorade G2: A low calorie hydrator

September 26, 2008

G2_3By Maria Garcia

Schneider Associates

Faced with the steady decline in sales of carbonated drinks, Pepsi Co is looking to make a splash with Gatorade G2, the brand’s biggest product launch in six years. G2, a new low-calorie version of Gatorade, is being marketed as an “off-the-field hydrator,” designed for athletes to drink when they’re not training or competing.

The launch is being supported by a massive integrated marketing campaign, as Pepsi hopes to make an impression amongst the hundreds of beverages that launch yearly in the US.  Besides a prominent television ad campaign, G2 is also being promoted with print advertising, digital components, retail, sampling and cause-marketing efforts.

G2 was announced in early September 2007, but didn’t hit stores until early 2008. Fifteen-second teaser ads showing unknown pairs of legs walking through a city that slowly morphs into a baseball field and a basketball court, started appearing in December.

The full length ads, created by Element 79 Partners in Chicago, debuted during Super Bowl XLII. The agency explains that the ads are meant to show that many times the game extends beyond the field and into a sports player’s everyday life. The spots reveal that the legs in the teasers actually belong to Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade and New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter, who appeared saying “The next game begins when the last one ends.”

The ads are part of a larger marketing effort launching G2 and will also include spots starring Peyton Manning and Maria Sharapova.  Here’s the ad Gatorade will used to launch G2 during the Super Bowl:

Gatorade has actually tried to sell a low-calorie drink before, Gatorade Light, which failed to gain an audience when it launched in 1990.

With today’s consumers looking for more drink options, do you think G2 will succeed where Gatorade Light failed?

Gatorade launches Gatorade Tiger amid athlete’s injuries

September 22, 2008

By Michael Shea

Schneider Associates

It is hard to argue against choosing Tiger Woods as a celebrity endorsement. After all, he is the most dominant athlete in the world and he is loved by millions of people internationally, including the media. Despite his flawless reputation, 2008 might not have been the best year to launch Gatorade Tiger. Why, you ask? Simply put – his health.

This will be the first year when Tiger will miss multiple tournaments due to a knee injury, and this could hurt Gatorade Tiger’s chances to become a very successful new product. Seeing an injured Tiger is something sports fans have yet to see from golf’s version of Superman.

Gatorade Tiger does not have a chance to rebrand, as Tiger is the focal point, including being on the bottle and of course, in the name. Without Tiger appearing in the headlines after dramatic victories over starry-eyed challengers, will Gatorade Tiger achieve mass success. The brand was so close to receiving a huge lift after Tigers courageous win at the U.S. Open, but after his recent surgery, Woods will not have a chance to compete for Golf’s Grand Slam.

When a brand relies completely on the celebrity representing it, any type of issue affecting or surrounding the person can be injurious to the success of the brand. An example of this would be the Martha Stewart scandal. Stewart and her brand were achieving great things, and she was adored by millions, but all of this came crashing down after she was convicted of illegally trading stocks. Stewart has worked extremely hard to rebuild her empire and has not yet achieved her top of the mountain status. Clearly, Gatorade is not in the same situation, but Wood’s lack of media attention might have the same effect of declining sales on the brand.

Despite the injury, Gatorade Tiger launched with one of the most talked about commercials so far in 2008, where Tiger Woods drives a ball through outer space from the moon. Gatorade plans to continue the use of television advertising with the new product. Beginning in late April, visitors to can play virtual golf on the moon and enter an online sweepstakes to win one of two “out of this world” grand prizes.

Most would agree that an injured Tiger is still substantially more marketable than other possibilities, especially in golf. Gatorade will stick by its injured superstarstar rather than exploring the alternatives–Gatorade Mickelson or Gatorade Vijay.

Will Tiger’s injury hinder Gatorade sales? Does Tiger provide Gatorade enough star power for Gatorade Tiger to finish 2008 as one of the top ten Most Memorable New Products?