So Gatorade Co. teamed up with the Women's Sports Foundation to encourage even more of the under-18 set to be like Mia, rather than like Mike. U.S. Soccer Team champion Mia Hamm will appear in a new Gatorade ad that coincides with the debut of the partnership.
"Nearly half our teen and tween consumption is from girl athletes," said Gatorade Equity Director Liz Bardetti.
The three-year deal between the Quaker Oats Co. division and the non-profit organization hopes to inspire more females to get involved in athletics.
The centerpiece of the joint venture is a female-friendly sport and fitness Web site. The yet-unnamed site will list fitness activities for girls and promote sports participation on a community level. The site will also tout Gatorade product information, such as how its electrolytes and other ingredients help to keep participants hydrated and improve one's sports play. The joint site, scheduled to launch in July, will have a hyperlink back to Gatorade's gatorade.com.
Gatorade sponsorship of female sports is backed with a new TV ad that breaks later this month. The spot, from FCB Worldwide, Chicago, features Ms. Hamm, as well as Women's National Basketball League star Chamique Holdsclaw, world champion runner Marion Jones and tennis great Billie Jean King. The athletes are shown in action, as the Guess Who's "American Woman" blares in the background. The spot ends with Gatorade's "Is it in you?" tag.
Gatorade also will participate in a fund-raising effort for the Women's Sports Foundation through the sale of "American Women" logo T-shirts.
PRO SPORTS SPONSORSHIPS
Gatorade's Ms. Bardetti said the company is dedicated to its support of women's sports. Last year, Gatorade signed on as a WNBA sponsor, and it is exploring opportunities with women's professional soccer.
"As women's professional sports are more and more in existence, Gatorade is certainly taking a part in that," she said.