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By Kenneth Hein | US Editor

April 18, 2022 | 4 min read

Looking to grab greater share from Gatorade, BodyArmor is debuting its first national TV spot for its caffeinated Edge product. The new “Edge vs. everybody” campaign kicks off tonight during the NBA Playoffs.

After ponying up $5.6bn to acquire surging sports drink Body Armor, Coca-Cola is unveiling the first national campaign for its caffeinated BodyArmor Edge. The centerpiece of the effort is the high energy “Edge vs. everybody” TV spot airing during tonight’s NBA Playoffs. It features athletes Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix Mercury) and Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals). Each battles animated adversaries – including ogres, tigers and giant flying insects – on their way to ultimately scoring.

BodyArmor’s aggressive tack has served the challenger brand well. Its US dollar share soared 51% last year at grocery, convenience and warehouse stores. With more than $1 billion in overall sales, it now owns 16% of the sports drink category, per Beverage Digest. Gatorade is still dominant leader at a 66.2% share.

Still, now that the brand is part of the Coke portfolio, along with Powerade (which has a 13.5% share), Coke has a formidable one-two punch. Part of BodyArmor’s success has been a willingness to innovate with products like Edge which boasts 1,000mg of electrolytes plus 100mg of natural caffeine. Gatorade has followed suit with mixed results. For example, its caffeinated Bolt24 product has been discontinued.

“The trick now is for Coke to continue BodyArmor’s momentum,” says Duane Stanford, editor, Beverage Digest. “It’s a competitive marketplace. They need to find that magic formula for bringing in new consumers and keeping existing ones coming back.” Additionally, BodyArmor now has to compete internally among Coke’s other brands for attention and share of marketing budget, Stanford says.

If this new effort is any indication, there appears a willingness for Coke to invest in its newest acquisition as well as to keep innovating. BodyArmor Edge, which launched in 2021, is also rolling out two new flavors: Strawberry Slam and Watermelon Wave.

“This new campaign highlights that intense, hard-working mentality that BodyArmor Edge is all about,” says Michael Fedele, vice president of marketing at BodyArmor. “Launched last year, BodyArmor Edge is a game-changer within the sports drink industry and there’s no other comparable out there. For us at BodyArmor, we want to show consumers that there are new, innovative hydration options out there – and we feel the new Edge campaign starring some of the most exciting athletes in their respective sports does just that.”

BodyArmor is also continuing its main brand campaign called “One more.” It was unveiled last year and spotlights top athletes including Betts, James Harden (Philadelphia 76ers) and, most recently, Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave). Each athlete is shown going the extra mile to achieve their ultimate success.

This is a trait that Fedele says BodyArmor embraces as well. “Our goals have not changed since the Coca-Cola acquisition of BodyArmor. It’s BodyArmor’s goal to become the No. 1 global sports drink. Period,” says Fedele. “Right now, BodyArmor has incredible momentum at retail, and we’re continuing to make a lot of noise within the sports and beverage world with exciting new ad campaigns, top-tier partnerships with superstars like Ja Morant and others, and new innovative products like BodyArmor Edge. It’s exciting to be a part of the Coca-Cola family – but make no mistake, we’ve still got our foot on the gas going 1000 MPH and we’re coming for that No. 1 spot.”

This feeds of BodyArmor founder Mike Repole's vision for the brand which he sees as the sports drink for this generation. Repole, who was also part of the team that sold Vitaminwater to Coke for $4.1bn, has said, “Gatorade is Blockbuster video. It hasn’t changed or evolved. BodyArmor is Netflix... Drinking Gatorade is like expecting tennis players to wear short shorts and use wooden rackets. Expecting today’s athletes to drink the same sports drink from 55 years ago is comical.”

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