Gatorade 50th Birthday TVC (& Enhanced Online Spot) Celebrates Sponsorships

Gatorade tuns 50 in 2015 and it has kicked off its celebrations with a new ad featuring 50 iconic athletes, teams and moments in which the sports drink played a partnership role.


The spot, called ‘50’, features a slew of big name Gatorade athlete ambassadors and team partners – from Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter, to the NFL and, of course, the Florida Gators.


Innovatively, an enhanced version of the standard TV ad is running online and features narrators like Rich Eisen and Serena Williams who provide deeper insights into some of the standout moments featured in the creative.


Developed in partnership with ad agency TBWA, the footage opens with historic footage from the brand’s origins at University of Florida in 1965 with Gators Coach Ray Graves asking his players for 50 press ups and counting them down.


The sports drinks was first developed at the University of Florida roots.


As the players begin the push ups count from one to 50, a clip from a notable sports star, team or moment corresponds to each individual number.


Thus recently retired New York Yankees star Derek Jeter appears in the number 2 spot to match the number on his jersey, while Serena Williams takes the number 24 position to reflect her record of serving 24 aces in one tennis match.


Flagship Gatorade pitchman Michael Jordan is included in several snippets such as the famous ‘Flu Game 5 Playoff’ in 1997 and his return to the game as a Washington Wizard, whilst number 21 features the brand’s classic moment when the New York Giants celebrated their Super Bowl XXI win by dumping a cooler of Gatorade on Coach Bill Parcells – thus beginning what has now become a tradition.


The commercial closes with a coach asking the current University Of Florida Gators team for ‘Fifty more. Let’s do it again.’


It ends with the tagline ‘50 Years of Fuelling the Champion Within.’



Thus far the spot has notched up more than four million YouTube views and thousands more social interactions.


Surprisingly, both Billie Jean King and perhaps the most famous sportsman of all, Muhammad Ali, who featured in several Gatorade campaigns, doesn’t appear in the anniversary spot.


Perhaps the brand has something else Ali-related up its sleeve for later in its 50th anniversary celebrations.




It can look horribly self-serving when a brand celebrates its own anniversary by honouring itself and its own achievements, but this Gatorade campaign largely avoids that problem as it focuses primarily on the achievements of the USAs most popular sports stars, teams and moments rather than on the brand itself.


It is able to do this largely because many fans feel that the drink has genuinely become an authentic part of US sports culture.


The 50th anniversary ad tends to focus more on football and basketball – the sports in which the brand makes its biggest financial marketing investments to to reach its largest target audience.


The PepsiCo owned sports drink is the biggest beast in the US sports drink segment with a whopping 74% of sales – well ahead of heavyweight rival Coca-Cola’s 22% share for its Powerade product (according to Mintel’s 2014 Study of the Sports Drink Category).


It has built a powerful sports activation and ambassadorial heritage over the last 50 years with standout campaigns such as its ‘My Way’ homage to Derek Jeter’s NY Yankees retirement,



its original 1992 Michael Jordan ‘Be Like Mike’ campaigns,



and Jordan at age 39 playing his younger self one-on-one.





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