Gatorade has hired Work & Co. to help the brand with digital innovation, specifically focused around increasing engagement with consumers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
A Gatorade spokeswoman confirmed that the PepsiCo-owned brand has "partnered with Work & Co.," but declined to disclose further details. Representatives from Work & Co. referred a request for comment to the client.
Work & Co. won the business following a competitive review, according to the people familiar with the matter. Work & Co.'s assignment is not expected to affect other Gatorade agencies, which include TBWA and VML.
Sports drink category sales slumped through most of 2017, but have recently shown signs of improvement. Gatorade, which dominates the category, grew retail sales by 2.8% in the four-week period ending Dec. 30, according to a recent J.P. Morgan report.
The brand's target audience, competitive teen athletes, are digital natives, Gatorade Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hartshorn said in an interview with CMO.com last month. "Digital is where they consume information and entertainment, so, of course, that's led to a dramatic shift in how we tell our brand story," he said. "The importance of authentically being in this space and staying slightly ahead of the curve can't be overstated for a brand like Gatorade."
For the past two Super Bowls, Gatorade has brought digital dunk effects to Snapchat, letting users superimpose a Gatorade bath over their video selfies.
Contributing: E.J. Schultz