September 10th, 2013

Gatorade's G Force Leaves No Sweat Behind

By Natalie Zmuda
Ad Age

Hybrid Sales, Marketing Team Fans Out To Conquest Schools, Gyms, Athletic Facilities

Orlando’s Lake Highland Prep is known to locals as an elite private school. To Gatorade, it’s a “point of sweat."As the country heads back to school, so does Gatorade’s G Force, a hybrid field marketing and sales team that’s rolled out to 13 markets throughout the Midwest and South. The aim is to put Gatorade products within arm’s reach of athletes in colleges, gyms, athletic facilities and high schools like Lake Highland, where 27 of 200 graduating seniors last year signed to play college sports.

Mark Sullivan, southeast regional development manager, Gatorade; Frank Prendergast, athletic director, Lakeland High Prep;Megan Yoder, Orlando market development associate, Gatorade, in the school’s workout room.
Courting these niche markets may seem picayune for a brand that commanded a 70% share of the total sports-drink market in 2012, according to Beverage Digest. But a brand so dominant in its category must find new outlets if it is to continue to grow. “It’s a key part of PepsiCo’s strategy to move the portfolio toward high-growth spaces, positioning the product where it can win,” said Andrea Fairchild, Gatorade’s VP-global brand marketing.

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