Bolt magic energises sales of popular sport drink brand

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior Reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

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It seems that anything Usain Bolt touches turns to gold, and his endorsement of the energy drink Gatorade has seen sales through the roof in Jamaica.


But the relationship the world's fastest man is not the only factor, as Pepsi Jamaica's involvement in sports sponsorship through its brand, Gatorade, has become a must-have replenishing drink for athletes of various sporting discipline.


Ayanna Kirton, Gatorade's brand manager, told the Observer at the latest sponsorship announcement of the prestigious Gibson Relays at the Knustford Court Hotel on Thursday, that the performance of the Gatorade brand in Jamaica has been particularly encouraging over the past year.


Said Kirton: "There has been a notable increase in sales volumes and the company is on a drive to educate even more consumers about the brand's functional benefits and the importance of the use of the product as an integral part of any strenuous physical or athletic activity".


"Having Bolt as an ambassador for Gatorade is a tremendous opportunity for the brand as his record-breaking performances make him the ideal candidate for product endorsement. His success in athletics is a combination of both natural talent and fueling himself properly, while he trains tirelessly to defend his title of the world's fastest man," she said.


Gatorade was created in the 1960s by researchers at the University of Florida to help the Gators football team prevent dehydration when they played in extremely hot weather. Since the Gators' victory in 1967, Gatorade has grown and has become an household name and can be found on the sidelines of playing pitches and locker rooms across the world


"This is because the product is scientifically proven to meet the hydration and nutrition needs of competitive athletes before, during and after a workout or game," noted Kirton.


Internationally, Gatorade is the official sports drink of the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), Women's National basketball Association (WNBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS) and numerous professional, collegiate and amateur teams and events including the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon, Chicago Triathlon and Ironman World Championship.


According to Kirton, Gatorade's involvement in sports in Jamaica is also far-reaching and well documented.


"Locally, our association with and sponsorship of competitions like the annual ISSA schoolboy football, the Gibson Relays, UWI Invitational and the Sigma Corporate Run, as well as other numerous activities at the primary, secondary, tertiary and amateur and professional levels, help to lend credibility to these events," she added.


In addition to Bolt, Gatorade has a history of recruiting top-ranked athletes as ambassadors for the brand. Some of these include Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, Peyton Manning, Serena Williams, Chad Ortiz and Dwayne Wade to name a few.


"Based on the nature of the product and why it was created, it is safe to say that as long as Gatorade is on the market it will play a major role in supporting sports," said Kirton.


"Because it's backed by years of scientific research and because no other sports beverage has established such strong expertise in rehydration and sports nutrition, competitive and amateur athletes consider it their drink of choice to enhance their athletic performance," she added.






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