Gatorade announced their new sponsorship of Cam Newton early last month. We can expect Cam Newton to have many endorsements in his career because he is an instant superstar. He won a national championship, Heisman trophy, and was the first player picked in the 2011 draft. It should come as a surprise that Gatorade has gone all in on this endorsement so early in his career though.
Gatorade’s only other NFL players are Peyton and Eli Manning. Those are two very safe sponsorships because neither player has the risk of negative press. Cam Newton carries a huge risk with a criminal background in Florida and alleged NCAA violations from his stint with Auburn. Any slip up in the NFL can ruin his reputation and haunt his career. This sponsorship has the potential to be gold if Cam stays out of trouble off the field and starts winning on the field.
Being a Gatorade athlete is a rare accomplishment. Only the best of the best in their particular sport are sponsored by Gatorade. So, why Cam Newton over other stars in the NFL? Why not Tom Brady or Devin Hester? Tom Brady carries no risk when it comes to endorsements. Devin Hester has been the most explosive player in the NFL for the past few years. When I think of Gatorade and athlete’s performance, Devin Hester would be the perfect athlete for the slogan “Is it in you?”.
Gatorade is taking a calculated risk with this sponsorship. They want the young star. Cam Newton can be the face of the Gatorade brand the same way Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm and Serena Williams have carried the brand in the past. For Gatorade’s sake, let’s hope he stays out of trouble.
I’ll leave you with my favorite Gatorade commercial from my childhood.