Gatorade Deal An Energy Boost For FCB

Less than two weeks after Coca-Cola signed a deal that caused the entire industry to question the value of a National Football League corporate sponsorship, Quaker Oats’ Gatorade inked a six-year, $130 million renewal of its NFL deal.
In continuing its 30-year relationship, Gatorade paid more than three times what it paid per year in its last contract.
The deal is good news for Gatorade agency Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago, which promises to continue high visibility for the brand. Quaker spent $62 million last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The most recent executions have used “Is it in you?” as a sub-theme to the “Life is a sport. Drink it up” tagline.
Gatorade continues to get sideline beverage exclusivity. But, unlike the Coke deal, Gatorade gets both national and local category exclusivity. Gatorade’s ramped up commitment supports NFL executives’ contention that the “lowball” $5 million-per-year Coke deal was constrained more by category dynamics than any fading of the NFL’s luster.
Gatorade also continues to help underwrite the NFL’s youth marketing efforts, such as the Punt, Pass & Kick grassroots program, which will be expanded into schools for the upcoming season. Its goal is to increase participation from 600,000 to 2 million kids this year.
“Teens have become a really competitive area in the [isotonic beverage] category and obviously, we believe this association delivers great exposure for us, along with loyalty and sales,” said Bill Schmidt, Gatorade’s vice president for sports marketing.
Data from Information Resources puts Gatorade’s share of the isotonic beverage market at 81.2 percent (including the Gatorade Frost line extension, which represents 11.2 percent on its own). Rival Coca-Cola’s PowerAide has an 8.6 percent share and PepsiCo’s All Sport has a 7.1 percent share.