Gatorade’s ‘League Of Captains’ Comic & Consumer Creation NFL Activation

Gatorade has expanded its creative and media partnership with DC Comics to produce a ‘League of Captains’ interactive online content site and comic series to activate around the opening of the new NFL season.


Launched during pre-season games and culminating during the first week of September season opening NFL games, the branded comic series, featuring the likes of NFL stars Peyton Manning as ‘The Sheriff’, and JJ Watt as ‘Megawatt’, is available online and the web hub also users can create their own superhero and share their creation with their friends and fellow fans.


The League of Captains website allows users to create their own superhero athlete by choosing from a cartoon toolkit that spans multiple options from different hair styles, jerseys, shoe colours and other attributes.


Consumers who submit their own photo by the 7 September official season opener. 7 – taken at a workout, practice or game showing how you “win from within” (the brand’s long running umbrella tagline), are entered into a competition to win their very own comic book cover.


Fans who dream up their own superheroes can share their creations through Facebook and Twitter.


Every submission will be judged and the best ones will be drawn and “immortalized” by a professional cartoon artist.


Printed versions of the comics were also made available at pre-season games through August and September.


Supporting online spots, fun in approach and humorous in tone, also promote the wider campaign.




As well as the videos, which are designed to drive people to purchase the limited-time-offer bottles, Gatorade also launched limited-edition bottles featuring the League of Captains and is also utilising its owned-assets too – such as vending machines and vehicle fleets.


It is also making printed comics available at pre-season games this month.


The campaign also has an educational aspect. Gatorade has been working on “educating kids about heat safety and the importance of hydration,” she adds. Its 2014 NFL campaign also includes a TV spot and online videos about the need for hydration.


FleishmanHillard works on PR for Gatorade, while VML handles digital and TBWA\Chiat\Day oversees creative.



This campaign follows in the footsteps of last season’s ‘Freaks’ work which was its first partnership with DC Comics and saw Gatorade first re-imagine Dwayne Wade, Cam Newton and JJ Watt as superheroes for a digital comic series (see previous case study).


The League Of Captains initiative takes this creative partnership to a new, more comprehensive and league-wide level.


One of the NFL’s most recognizable (and most established sponsors, having never missed a season since 1983), Gatorade’s latest offering for the 2014/15 season is integrated marketing at its finest.




Gatorade ‘League Of Captains’ Website



DC Comics



NFL Website



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