Gatorade Drops Tiger (the Drink)

After less than two years, Gatorade is dropping Tiger Focus from its portfolio. There has been a great deal of buzz around the announcement given its timing. However, the plans have been in the works for months.

First reports of the drink being discontinued appeared before Woods’ accident and subsequent stream of affair accusations, in the Nov. 25 issue of Beverage Digest. “It’s being eliminated because its volume is down 30 percent for the year through the end of October,” said Beverage Digest editor John Sicher. “They need the shelf and cooler space for new products being introduced next year.”

Gatorade regularly discontinues flavors and product lines that do not perform well. Tiger Focus only made up about 4 percent of Gatorade sales, per Sicher.

The Gatorade product was ill fated from the start. Gatorade Tiger launched in March 2008, just in time for Woods’ knee surgery in April. Then in April of this year, it was relaunched as Gatorade Tiger Focus. Theanine was added to “help promote mental focus.” It also included vitamin E and had 25 percent more electrolytes than Gatorade, as well as fewer calories.

Gatorade put a lot of energy behind the relaunch. Earlier this year, it aired a Disney-style ad, entitled “Words of Wisdom,” featuring a young, animated Woods learning to concentrate. A bear voiced by Samuel Jackson helped guide him. TBWA\Chiat\Day handled.

“Like everyone, I’ve worked hard to overcome challenges throughout my life, and ‘Words of Wisdom’ showcases some of the moments that have shaped my ability to focus,” said Tiger Woods in a release during the relaunch.

PepsiCo spent $10 million advertising the brand January through September of this year, and $30 million in 2008, per Nielsen.

A Gatorade rep said: “We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010. We hope to share more about our 2010 plans soon.”

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