Jack Hughes Joins Small List Of Hockey Players With Gatorade Deal
Devils rookie C Jack Hughes has "signed an endorsement deal with Gatorade," making him the first player in franchise history to "ever have a sponsorship with the company," according to Chris Ryan of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Hughes said, "You see the list of athletes that are part of the Gatorade family, this is the premier brand in the business. To be a part of it is really special. It's something I definitely I wasn't going to pass up on." Penguins C Sidney Crosby and Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane -- two other former No. 1 overall picks -- have also "represented Gatorade." Hughes: "Crosby's kind of been the face of Gatorade hockey for a lot of years. So I mean growing up, it was always, 'Crosby's drinking Gatorade, I should too.'" Ryan notes even though Hughes is still just 18 years old, his deal with Gatorade "follows the company's track record of teaming up with young talent" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/7). The Gatorade partnership is the biggest to date for Hughes, who also has a deal with Upper Deck. Hughes is repped by CAA Sports' Pat Brisson (Mark Burns, THE DAILY).
YOUTH POWER: FOX BUSINESS' Thomas Barrabi noted Hughes "joins a growing list of top Gatorade athletes under the age of 25, including much-hyped" Pelicans rookie F Zion Williamson and USMNT F Christian Pulisic. The deal with Hughes comes as Gatorade is "under pressure from BodyArmor." However, Gatorade Global Head of Sports Marketing Jeff Kearney "downplayed the notion that the brand's recent partnerships are part of a bid to stave off BodyArmor or any other competitors' reach with young consumers." Connecting with millennials and Gen-Z shoppers is "crucial for Gatorade to maintain its leading position in the marketplace," as its roster of athletes has "undergone a youth movement in recent years." Kearney said that the brand has a "history of partnering with future stars at the outset of their careers," including Dwyane Wade and Peyton Manning (FOXBUSINESS.com, 11/6).
AROUND THE LEAGUE: ESPN.com's Emily Kaplan asked 50 anonymous NHLers some questions about issues in their sport, including if they would "feel comfortable appearing in a national campaign" or if that "would be too much of a distraction" to their teams. One player said, "I wouldn't want to do it. I don't really want to put myself out there like that." But another player said, "The right guys should do it. We need to have the elite superstars more out there" (ESPN.com, 11/5).