SBD/Issue 129/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

UFC's Georges St. Pierre Inks Deal For Gatorade's New "G" Campaign

Gatorade Moves Into Canadian
Market With St. Pierre Deal
Gatorade is prepping to move into the Canada market by signing a "group of Canadian athletes to represent the brand," and UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre will be a "major part" of Gatorade's latest "G" campaign, according to Damon Martin of St. Pierre "will serve as one of the leaders to help push Gatorade in the newly branded market." Other athletes that will be part of the effort include Hockey HOFer Gordie Howe, former Canadian national women's hockey team member Cassie Campbell, wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc and marathon runner Ray Zahab. Martin wrote St. Pierre's addition to the campaign "can only be seen as a huge step forward for the marketing and advertising future" of MMA. The agreement between Gatorade and St. Pierre "signals the first MMA fighter to be involved with the popular sports drink brand," as well as a sign MMA fighters are "moving forward to being more widely recognized alongside other top athletes." St. Pierre "filmed his first commercial for Gatorade over the last week" (, 3/22).'s Josh Gross wrote of the new deal, "You can take the news as one more sign of MMA's growth, especially in fight-crazy Canada. ... I take this to mean elite fighters can -- and are beginning to -- transcend the sport (including the UFC) to a place where they'll be recognizable to mainstream audiences." Gatorade currently plan to air St. Pierre's ads only in Canada, but if the ads, which include "some of the biggest icons in sport, get shown in the U.S., it'll certainly be a boost to the 27-year-old St. Pierre, the UFC and to MMA, in general" (, 3/23).

FEEL THE FLOW: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reports Gatorade has reached a two-year deal to become the first title sponsor of Alli Sports' Free Flow Tour, which now will be known as the Gatorade Free Flow Tour. Sources valued the sponsorship "in the low seven figures." Under the deal, Gatorade also receives "activation rights at 50 summer competitions and 10 winter competitions, and it becomes the brand behind three half-hour shows about the Free Flow Tour on Fuel TV and will back a series of video shorts from the tour that will be featured on and" The partnership "completes Gatorade's push into action sports, which began in December" with the signing of three action sports athletes (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/23 issue).

POWER PLAY: AD AGE's Natalie Zmuda reports Powerade is "undertaking a bold and innovative print and outdoor effort" that positions Gatorade "as only half the brand Powerade is." Powerade plans to "blitz the market with messaging that Gatorade is an inferior method of hydration, and says it has the science to back it up." Powerade and ad agency Ammirati, N.Y., have "developed a clever comparative campaign" pitting the brand against Gatorade, and Powerade has also worked closely with media partner Starcom MediaVest Group, N.Y., to "break new ground." Powerade "will take over the cover of the April 6 issue of ESPN The Magazine, marking the first time the publication has mingled editorial properties with advertising on its cover." ESPN/ABC Sports Customer Marketing & Sales President Ed Erhardt indicated that the cover concept, along with "seven- to 10-second video vignettes and a first-of-its-kind GameCast integration on mobile phones and, make for a compelling campaign." ESPN personalities "interview Powerade athletes in the vignettes, riffing off the 'complete sports drink' concept by asking the athletes to complete sentences." Powerade is also "running a digital effort, including a revamped website and banner ads" (AD AGE, 3/23 issue).

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