By Barry Janoff
June 2, 2015: In its on-going efforts to cut into the marketing share of Gatorade, Powerade and other sports energy drinks, BodyArmor has united its solid array of endorsers for a multi-level campaign to support its position as being the choice of today's athlete.
The effort is anchored by a TV spot, "This Is Now," that includes the participation of Andrew Luck, James Harden, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Trout, Richard Sherman, Buster Posey and Skylar Diggins.
BodyArmor's roster also includes Kevin Love and Sydney Leroux.
The theme of the campaign: "Sports have evolved over the years — upgraded equipment, upgraded training and upgraded nutrition — so isn’t it time for an upgraded sports drink?"
Gatorade from PepsiCo is the dominant leader in the category with some 75% of the sports drink market, according to research firm Mintel. Coca-Cola's Powerade is second at 20%. The category could top $9.3 billion in sales in 2017.
BodyArmor launched in 2011 under the auspices of Lance Collins, who also created Fuze; and Mike Repole, who co-founded Vitaminwater. Although all of its athlete endorsers also are listed as "investors," the most notable might be Kobe Bryant, who also sits on the brand's board of directors but does not appear in current marketing.
The TV spots takes on the look and feel of the iconic Movietone News reels that ran in move theaters for more than 30 years.
"Sports have evolved over the years," says a voiceover against a backdrop of black-and-white clips of current athletes in historical footage. "Back then, our (football) helmets were leather (as we see a shot of Andrew Luck). Not everyone was encouraged to play (as referee takes a basketball away from Skylar). We only drank what they gave us."
The narrative continues. "Our socks were high and our shorts were short (as we see James Harden dressed in an outdated hoops uniform). Our (hockey) masks were terrifying (exemplified by Rob Gronkowski). We wore fur. We searched for an edge. Sometimes that meant Stickum (as we see Richard Sherman with a football stuck to his hand). Other times that mean voodoo. We went big. Really big. It was business up front and party in the back. We didn't have a nutrition plan. That was then."
At this point, the spot gets a dose of 2015 imagery and a more vibrant voiceover. "This is now. Athletes have evolved. We are today's athletes. We are focused. We push ourselves further. We are all players now. We have no off-season. We demand better. And we're obsessed on what we put in our bodies. Sports have evolved. And so have sports drinks. Upgrade your game. Upgrade to BodyArmor." (See the full spot here.)
Support includes Internet and social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter via a number of hashtags (#ThisIsNOW. #UpgradeYourSportsDrink #UpgradeYourGame).
BodyArmor gained some notoriety in 2012 when it was sued by Under Armour over alleged trademark infringement. The case was settled in 2013, with terms not disclosed.
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