Gatorade Promo, Case study GATORADE AT SUPER BOWL by Fleishman Hillard

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Industry Soft Drinks
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Fleishman Hillard
Account Supervisor Andrew Soucy, Bekah Lockner, Adam Woullard
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events, Stunts and or Celebrity Endorsement
Advertiser: GATORADE
Product/Service: G SERIES
President: Sarah Robb O'Hagan (Gatorade)
Senior Manager, Gatorade Communications: Jennifer Schmit (Gatorade)
Gatorade Communications: Karen May (Gatorade)
Gatorade Communications: Lauren Burns (Gatorade)
Gatorade Communications: Katie Montiel (Gatorade)
Gatorade Sports Marketing: Mary Doherty (Gatorade)
Gatorade Sports Marketing: John Shumate (Gatorade)
Gatorade Branded Entertainment: Lauren Fritts (Gatorade)
Senior Vice President & Senior Partner: Emily Frager (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Adam Tanielian (Fleishman-Hillard)
Senior Vice President: Tracy Hollywood (Fleishman-Hillard)
Managing Supervisor: Sarah Markey (Fleishman-Hillard)
Managing Supervisor: Courtney Quaye (Fleishman-Hillard)
Managing Supervisor: Brad Burke (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Supervisor: Adam Woullard (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Supervisor: Andrew Soucy (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Supervisor: Bekah Lockner (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Executive: Meg Poulelis (Fleishman-Hillard)
Account Executive: Emily Lyons (Fleishman-Hillard)
Assistant Account Executive: Lauren Rollins (Fleishman-Hillard)
Media placement: Media Testing At Super Bowl GSSI Lab - Men’s Health, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report - 1 February 2011
Media placement: Media Embedding During NFL Rookie Testing At Super Bowl GSSI Lab - USA Today, CBS Sports, Antenna, Yahoo Sports - 1 February 2011
Media placement: NFL Rookie Media Tours At Super Bowl - Incl. ESPN, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN Radio, NFL Network, The Jim Rome Show - 1 February 2011
Media placement: Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, USTREAM - 1 February 2011
Media placement: Press Release - Incl. Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, Orlando Sentinel, Bleacher Report - 5 February 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Stop if you’ve heard this before: A brand uses the Super Bowl to gain exposure! How novel! Truthfully, the tactic is old as the game itself. The Super Bowl annually erupts with product placement and celebrity pitches that bore fans, disgust media, and leave brands scouring for a way to garner attention without selling their souls.

We did. And with a story that’s almost taboo in this carnival atmosphere: science.

No, really.

Consumers see Gatorade on the Super Bowl sidelines, but they often don’t comprehend the science behind those products. In 2011, Gatorade challenged the agency to leverage the big game to show Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) scientists spur athletic achievement through sports nutrition. The agency worked with Gatorade to devise a PR event which placed GSSI front and centre at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas. We targeted incoming NFL rookies who have everything to prove to show how Gatorade elevates performance. We invited relevant media not just to see Gatorade science- but to experience it. We merged traditional PR with emerging content to extend our story beyond Super Bowl. And we engaged consumers via social media to enable Gatorade to stand out among the brands at Super Bowl.

The Situation
Gatorade wanted to leverage its event space at Super Bowl XLV (a drab hotel ballroom) to showcase the breakthrough science conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), a leading authority in sports nutrition. The agency was asked to design a PR event that:

- Leverages Gatorade’s work with NFL athletes authentically, without resorting to the types of shallow pitches common at Super Bowl.

- Links the science in Gatorade labs with the fuel in the products

- Creates not just a sideshow, but a platform that connects with consumers via social media and continues through original content and follow-up events

The Goal
- Showcase the Science Behind Gatorade: Leverage Gatorade’s partnership with the NFL and the brand’s event space at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, to transcend a mere "product pitch" and reaffirm with media the brand’s scientific expertise as an integral part of athletes’ on-the-field performance.

- Engage Consumers Through Social Media: Connect with Gatorade’s core target of performance athletes and sports fans to make the brand’s social media channels (Facebook, UStream, Twitter) "must-see destinations" during Super Bowl week.

- Extend the Reach Beyond Super Bowl: Create an innovative platform that could spin off additional events and digital content beyond Super Bowl XLV.

The Strategy
-Devise an "NFL Rookies" platform, where GSSI used authentic sports nutrition science to elevate the performance of several incoming NFL rookies.

-Conceive a full-scale sports science lab at the Super Bowl Media Centre to showcase GSSI’s work with the rookies in front of the throngs of media covering the game.

-Invite top media, especially outlets appealing to our core audience of performance athletes, to conduct the same eight-week fuelling program as the NFL rookies.

-Invest consumers in the GSSI lab experience via social media, and engage them in conversations with NFL athletes directly

-Use rookie training to help set the stage for integrated content partnership with NFL Films to create original Web series following the rookies’ journey to the pros and their work with GSSI

-Utilize Gatorade "Mission Control" social media centre to monitor conversations and become an active participant in consumer discourse

- Partnered with rookies for eight-week GSSI fuelling program- including testing at Super Bowl and custom iPad fuelling app letting GSSI analyze rookie fuelling habits

- Worked with brand to transform drab Media Centre ballroom into an innovative GSSI lab

- Paired rookies with NFL veterans who had worked with GSSI and could share testimonials

- Brought relevant media to the lab to see (and experience) how Gatorade science and products fuel performance

- Invited select media to conduct same GSSI rookie fuelling/testing program (before and during Super Bowl week) to generate in-depth, experiential coverage about the rookies’ journey

- Engaged consumers via Gatorade social media channels and allowed them to converse with athletes and sports nutrition experts about how fuelling elevates performance

- Helped spin rookies platform into Web series from Gatorade and NFL Films ("Everything to Prove") chronicling rookies’ journey to the NFL, with fuelling process included.

Documented Results
Showcase the Science Behind Gatorade:
-270 MM earned media impressions- 13% increase over Gatorade’s 2010 Super Bowl activation, which also had benefited from advertising and new product push
-$5.7 MM in ad value (10+ times PR budget)
-In-depth coverage: 93% of stories mentioned Gatorade; 84% contained key scientific messages. Stories raved "Gatorade helps athletes take performance gains to the next level" (STACK)

Engage Consumers Through Social Media:
-2.5 MM Facebook impressions, and Gatorade named to "Top 10 Facebook Pages for Super Bowl Fans" (
-Generated 28,000 live consumer conversations direct from GSSI Lab via USTREAM
-Rookie and brand tweets during testing generated 23 MM Twitter follower impressions

Extend the Reach Beyond Super Bowl:
-Rookie platform inserted Gatorade into a key NFL offseason storyline, with follow-up testing slated for NFL Draft
-Spin-off "Everything to Prove" series debuted in March on