Back in 2000, my good friend Cindy (name has been changed) had one too many cranberry vodkas at the bar and got extremely sick. She was so bad that I had to throw her over my shoulder and take her to the hospital. The nurse said she would be fine and just had too much to drink. She said my friend was just very dehydrated and all she needed was a large bottle of Gatorade (no joke).

Well, that same iconic sports drink Gatorade is rebranding itself.


For anyone who has ever played sports, you know that Gatorade has been the “Thirst Aid” quencher for that deep down body thirst for many many years.

This is why we were interested when early last month, we got an email from Gatorade letting us know about their new rebranding efforts.

No less than a week later, a large box of Gatorade was at our office. Anxious to see the new product, I pulled out a bottle and sampled. The flavors tasted exactly the same (good because that would have been a mistake to change that). Although the new versions have enhanced nutrients (Gatorade Rebrand Product Chart with Nutrition Enhancements), the biggest difference was the packaging.

The new Gatorade rebrand is all about the “G.” What is a “G?” Here’s what their new marketing materials say:

Gatorade® Thirst Quencher will put the letter G front and center along with the brand’s iconic bolt. For Gatorade, G represents the heart, hustle, and soul of athleticism and will become a badge of pride for anyone who sweats, no matter where they’re active.

“Just like any good athlete, Gatorade is taking it to the next level,” said Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer for Gatorade. “Whether you’re in it for the win, for the thrill or for better health, if your body is moving, Gatorade sees you as an athlete, and we’re inviting you into the brand.


During the Rose Bowl a few days ago (where USC trounced on a Florida school Penn State), a new Gatorade commercial featuring Lil Wayne (voice over) aired during the break. It didn’t show the new packaging or even a Gatorade drink for that matter, but what it did show was the new attitude and direction of this iconic sports drink.

The new Gatorade rebranding effort makes sense especially with the likes of Vitamin Water eating away at their market share. Where Vitamin Water has 50 Cent in their stable of celebrity endorsers (50 Cent Vitamin Water Commercial), Gatorade counters with Lil Wayne.

If any of you Gatorade brand managers read this, we’d just like to say nice move with using Lil Wayne (although Kanye would have been nice too, but maybe he wasn’t street enough for you).

New Gatorade Commercial – What is G? (voice over by Lil Wayne)

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You can check out more Gatorade Commercials after the jump.

The History of Gatorade

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1992 “Be Like Mike” Gatorade Commercial

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1989 Gatorade Commercial

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10 Responses to “Gatorade Rebrands Itself with New Attitude”

  1. b-rad on January 5th, 2009 12:08 am

    Great article on the rebirth of Gatorade. By the way USC was playing Penn State in the Rose Bowl….not a Florida school =)

  2. Grant on January 5th, 2009 4:45 am

    Not to be that guy…but Penn State isn’t exactly a ‘Florida school’

  3. stergeron on January 5th, 2009 8:06 am

    @ b-rad, @ Grant, thanks for the correction fellas. It has been updated. I don’t know what I was smoking on that one.

  4. ken on January 5th, 2009 9:25 am

    Gatorade sales went just like the college football teams in that state went ——> DOWN.

    Usually big companies like these don’t react fast enough to market conditions so it’s good to see them snap back at VItamin Water.

    They are obviously trying to get some market share back. Last I checked, I drank Vitamin Water over Gatorade, but that was because the store was out of Gatorade. The truth is folks my age (I’m 32) are already branded.

    I grew up on their old branding and saw the coolers of gatorade being dumped on coaches for decades. Vitamin Water or Powerade ain’t got me.

    But the fact that there is a generation of new drinkers out there looking for flavored water but who never saw Jordan in his prime doing his – BE LIKE MIKE – DRINK GATORADE stuff – they are looking for a reason to drink this stuff.

    Bravo gatorade. I’m not a fan of all the names of the flavors, but props to you for giving a damn about giving us something new.

    Let’s check back with them in a few months to see if it helped their sales.

  5. Nick on January 5th, 2009 11:47 am

    Maybe you were thinking Florida school b/c of the old Gatorade commercials talking about how Gatorade was born for the Florida Gators football team. So apparently you’re not helping them too much with the image remake harking back to their old image.

  6. Darryl on January 5th, 2009 6:13 pm

    I love seeing that Be Like Mike commerical. Brought back memories. Back when they used to have glass bottles and and their products were higher on the shelves. I don’t really care what anyone says, Gatorade will always be tops.

  7. c on January 6th, 2009 1:20 am

    oh. oh. oh.

    i can’t believe the night-that-must-not-be-remembered is coming back after all these years in reference to a gatorade story.

    the flavor was melon berry.

    love the article.

    and you’re still my hero.

    ~ c

  8. Alano on January 10th, 2009 1:48 pm

    Gatorade has saved me oh so many mornings after a night out. Just like Ken I grew up on that stuff. My preference personally out of all the “favored waters”.

  9. Phil on January 12th, 2009 11:00 pm

    Lil Wayne is garbage. The saddest part of the re-branding of a classic is their stooping to such a low. V-Water and 50, whatever, but Gatorade has been in it since the day. Way to cater.

  10. stergeron on January 13th, 2009 8:29 am

    @Phil, I’m not sure Gatorade had a choice. Bottom line is that they were probably losing lots of market share so this makes sense. There are no more sports stars of Jordan’s caliber that can carry a brand like he did for Nike or Gatorade. As for Lil Wayne being garbage, I won’t argue personal tastes, his record sales and awards speak for themselves.

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