BodyArmor takes the place of Powerade as official sports drink for NCAA championships
With the announcement Wednesday, BodyArmor will take over from Powerade as an official sports drink for NCAA championships, including men’s and women’s Division I basketball Final Four, the hockey Frozen Four and the College World Series. As part of the deal, BodyArmor’s logo will be displayed on the sidelines and bench, as well as on coolers, cups, water bottles at the NCAA events.
Financial terms of the collaboration, which begins in 2019, were not disclosed.
“The NCAA has 90 exhilarating championships, including March Madness, one of the most exciting events in all of sports, and we are thrilled that BodyArmor is going to be the hydration brand for teams and student-athletes participating in NCAA championships,” BodyArmor founder and chairman Mike Repole said in a statement.
BodyArmor’s sports drink will be distributed to players on the sidelines and in the locker room.
“College athletes playing at the highest level will now be drinking BodyArmor, some of them for the first time,” Repole said on Wednesday, according to ESPN. “We have an NCAA deal now and expect to, in the coming years, be the official sports drink of the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NFL.”
Coca-Cola has become the BodyArmor’s second-largest shareholder after purchasing a minority ownership stake in BodyArmor for an undisclosed sum last August. With the Queens, New York-based company’s $2 billion valuation, as ESPN reported, it’s in Coca-Cola’s best interest to replace Powerade to BodyArmor for a brand promotion at the NCAA events.
Coca-Cola, which owns, produces and markets Powerade, still holds sports drink sponsorship rights to the NCAA since 2002.
“We thank BodyArmor for supporting NCAA student-athletes, and we also thank our Corporate Champion Coca-Cola for opening the door to this new relationship,” NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said. “We plan to work very closely with BodyArmor to make this a successful venture.”
While Powerade’s market share is still surpassing to BodyArmor, the upstart sports drink brand is experiencing tripe digit growth in the sports beverage category for five straight years and is aiming to reach more than $400 million in retail sales by the end of 2018. Powerade’s main competitor Gatorade, owned by PepsiCo, continues to dominate the market share for decades.
In 2013, former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant originally invested $6 million in BodyArmor and is presently one of the biggest shareholders in the company. Earlier this year, Bryant has served as the creative director of BodyArmor’s largest-ever national advertising campaign, according to a press release.
Professional athletes that endorse and invest in BodyArmor include Mookie Betts, James Harden, Dustin Johnson, Andrew Luck, Kristaps Porzingis, Megan Rapine, Anthony Rizzo, Diana Taurasi, Klay Thompson, Mike Trout, Richard Sherman and Skylar Diggins-Smith.
Bryant also invested in Art of Sport, a just-launched body-care brand that provides body care for all athletes.
Photo Source: Retail Leader