Branding the World of Sports

Gatorade needs to quit bringing it

Posted by ZA on January 4, 2009

Saturday morning I was washing off a late Friday night with a few breakfast tacos and a Gatorade.  Although it is rare these days that I can get out for a few drinks, that has always been my go to hangover cure.  Grease from the breakfast tacos and electrolytes from the Gatorade combine to get me back on-track.  But this Saturday there was something different than normal, something that I have never seen before.  I looked closely at my Fierce Grape flavored drink and noticed that it said “Bring It”.

Gatorade's new branding

Gatorade's new branding

“Bring what?”, I thought.  Did I win a contest?  Was this some sort of secret message to me from the people at Gatorade? Nope, “Bring It” is part of Pepsico’s rebranding of their famous athletic drink.  They have renamed each Gatorade extension and updated the packaging.  Gatorade says the change is to “convey the attitude of a tough-love or personal trainer, through in-your-face names on the label”.

Gatorade renamed all of their products:
* Gatorade is now “G”.
* Gatorade Fierce is now “Bring It”.
* Gatorade X-Factor is now “Be Tough”.
* Gatorade AM is now “Shine On”.
* Gatorade Rain is now “No Excuses”.

Gatorade has always been one of my favorite brands, but this time I’m not sure where they are going.  They are obviously trying to instill a tougher attitude about their product.  I assume to keep up with the variety of energy drinks that are popular with the younger generations.  Those energy drinks with names like “Amp” and “Venom” are all about attitude.

I’m not a fan of Gatorade going this direction because it isn’t just an athletic drink; Gatorade transcends the industry to be more of a lifestyle drink.  People are more likely to be drinking Gatorade driving in their car than working out at the gym.  Gatorade is the market leader in the category (regardless what Powerade is doing to try to catch them), so they need to act like the leader.  This change appears to be more of a reactive move to what other brands are doing in Gatorade’s category.

It seems like Gatorade trying to reinvent itself into something it is not.  If Gatorade wants to pursue the skateboard riding, Xbox 360 generation, then they should develop a product geared at them.  But don’t change the entire brand to court a small segment, thereby alienating a fanbase that has taken decades to build.  Otherwise next time I am standing in-front of the beverage cooler I might reach past “No excuses” and try a VenomAmp.  Truthfully I’ll continue to buy Gatorade but I’m not going to ‘bring it’.

5 Responses to “Gatorade needs to quit bringing it”

  1. They’ve forgotten that Gatorade ha a purpose. It’s a thirst quencher, and they’re selling it as a funky lifestyle choice. Gatorade was a functional beverage, and G is a cultural beverage. But Gatorade is gone.

  2. EliMadden said

    Actually, Gatorade is trying to get into the “skateboarding, Xbox 360 generation.” Switching Gatorade to “G” is a little strange if you ask me, but whatever floats their boat.

    I, like you, like to have my greasy foods with a Gatorade to help me cure my hangovers. Why don’t they aim a targeting campaign at this group? On a more serious note, check this article out:

    On a different note, I’m glad I stumbled upon this blog. It is pretty cool, I’ll be keeping an eye on what you have to say about the products in the sport industry.

  3. ZA said

    Good article, thanks for the link. I think it’s really smart that Gatorade is making a push into action sports. There is a ton of good sponsorship opportunities in action sports & gaming (MLG has deal with Dr.Pepper). Pepisco already has products targeting this market, but there is no reason that Gatorade shouldn’t develop a product to get into.

    But again, I think Gatorade needs to focus a specific product line at it rather than convert all of their brand over to target this demographic. Lord knows they have enough products in their arsenal right now (E.g.- Rain, AM, Fierce, etc).


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