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Tiger Woods, Gatorade Team Up on Gatorade Tiger

First Sports Drink Branding for Golf Star

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Gatorade is partnering with Tiger Woods on a new sports drink, the PepsiCo brand's first athlete-licensed offering.
Tiger Woods will be the biggest star on a Gatorade roster that already includes some of the biggest names in sports.
Tiger Woods will be the biggest star on a Gatorade roster that already includes some of the biggest names in sports.

Gatorade Tiger will make its debut in stores next March and will be supported by a major marketing campaign. It's Mr. Woods' first foray into selling sports beverages. The golf star's endorsements include Nike Golf, EA Sports, Upper Deck and General Motors' OnStar.

"Gatorade has been part of my game plan for years, whether I'm training or competing, so this is an ideal match," Mr. Woods said in a statement.

Terms of the agreement weren't immediately available, but it won't be cheap. (Golfweek Magazine has reported the deal is worth $100 million over five years, but a Gatorade spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the terms.)

Biggest star
Mr. Woods is the priciest endorser in all of sports, and American Express parted ways with him recently, at least in part because the company's returns didn't justify the exorbitant cost of being associated with the world's greatest golfer.

Mr. Woods will be the biggest star on a Gatorade roster that already includes some of the biggest names in sports, including Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and soccer star Mia Hamm, as well as retired basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Mr. Woods is the first golf endorser enlisted by Gatorade, which has tended to prefer hard-working, sweat-soaked athletes over the traditional laid-back, plaid-pants stereotype of most golfers in its creative. But, in an interview today, Gatorade's senior VP-sports marketing, Jeff Urban, said Mr. Woods' credentials as a workout warrior and fierce competitor make him the ideal first golfer to endorse the brand.

"It had to be somebody like Tiger who clearly, clearly has the will to win," said Mr. Urban. "We're able to structure this in a way that recognizes Tiger as an athlete and as a golfer."

Role in training
Mr. Woods' beverage is not golf-specific, and ads from agency Element 79 will likely focus on its role in his training regimen. It will be available in cherry blend, citrus blend and grape flavors, in either 500-milliliter or 32-ounce bottles.

"This relationship is built on the Gatorade Co.'s unparalleled understanding of athlete needs and Tiger's unique position as one of the world's best athletes. By bringing these two leaders together, we feel we have an unprecedented opportunity to provide both Tiger and athletes at all levels the products they need to train and compete at their best," Todd Magazine, president of Gatorade, said in a statement.
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