SBD/Issue 36/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Strip Search: Enlyten Suing Gatorade, PepsiCo Over Bills Deal

Enlyten Suing PepsiCo,
Gatorade Over Bills Deal
Enlyten has sued Gatorade and parent company PepsiCo, accusing Gatorade, an  NFL sponsor, of “pressuring the league and the Bills to dump Enlyten” as a sponsor, according to Fred Williams of the BUFFALO NEWS. Enlyten, which produces electrolyte strips for athletes, signed a three-year sponsorship with the Bills in March, but Enlyten attorney Michael Powers said that the company’s name “was wiped from the Jumbotron and painted over on a sign at Ralph Wilson Stadium” before the Cowboys-Bills “MNF” game on October 8.  The filing does not name the NFL or the Bills.  Powers said of Gatorade, “They’re trying to seal off the market and keep any competitors from getting any traction.” NFL VP/Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy said that Gatorade’s deal “covers sports beverages and ‘electrolyte replacement products.’” However, the suit “contends that Gatorade’s sponsorship deal is narrower than that, only covering sports drinks, bars and gels.” Bills QB J.P. Losman in an Enlyten ad said the strips elevate his performance “without weighing me down with a lot of fluid intake.” Enlyten President Dan Kelly is the brother of former Bills QB and Pro Football HOFer Jim Kelly (BUFFALO NEWS, 10/31).

Read the full lawsuit. To read the full lawsuit, visit SportsBusinessDaily.com.

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