A new ad, which will air for the first time on Friday during the All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars challenge, is called “Fuel Tomorrow” and features voiceovers from WNBA’s Candace Parker and NBA player Damian Lillard, as well as rising young basketball player Isabella Escribano. “This is the moment it all starts,” say the players together in the ad. “But only if we get the chance to have it.”
The spot was created by agency TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Thornton in an interview emphasized the long-term nature of the campaign and called it an “evolution” of Gatorade and a move to “reinvigorate” the brand. This marks the first time Gatorade is putting money and resources behind its values, he said. The brand plans to give $10 million to community organizations such as Athlete Ally, which aims to end homophobia and transphobia in sports, and Honest Game foundation, which preps students to meet NCAA requirements, over the course of five years. Some organizations are longtime partners of Gatorade, while others are new, said Thornton.
With a focus on reaching young people, the initiative focuses on the idea that “sport has the power to change lives,” said Thornton. Challenges to sport accessibility include lack of resources and money, as well as where people are physically located, said Thornton, noting the difference in infrastructure and sports fields between New York City and Texas–for instance, the Lone Star state has more open space suitable for sports fields.