The sports industry has been benched for long enough, according to Gatorade. It’s latest campaign comes to bat with a humorous look at how some professional athletes have been coping during their disrupted seasons.
Gatorade’s new “Ready To Play” campaign spotlights athletes such as NFL star Todd Gurley and NBA player Zion Williamson trying their hand at different sports to stay entertained until their own professional seasons resume. The video ad, called “Ready to Play Anything”, sees its lineup of athletes gearing up to give other sports a try, from trying to play baseball with a basketball to jumping hurdles while playing football. By enlisting popular athletes in the campaign, Gatorade can make a play for their vast and loyal audiences, thereby amplifying its own reach across multiple platforms, according to a Gartner report. The commercial was released in anticipation of the MLB’s return on July 23, and also includes star baseball player Bryce Howard eagerly preparing for a return to his sport.
Gatorade’s Ready To Play campaign follows the brand’s “At Home Training” series on Instagram. The weekly series recruited other professional athletes, such as Serena Williams and Kenneth Murray, to walk viewers through their at-home workouts during the Coronavirus pandemic. Now that baseball is returning—with football and basketball close behind—Gatorade can revert back to more “traditional” campaigns, while still ensuring it relates to its sports-loving, social-distancing viewers. Gatorade is promoting Ready To Play primarily across Twitter, sharing its new commercial and hashtag #ReadyToPlay with its more than 300,000 followers. In addition to professional sports, many towns and schools are beginning to reopen their own sports programs, leading Gatorade to also publish a “Return To Play” guidebook on its website. The free guide includes resources from health professionals on restarting sports programs, focusing on topics including “touchless hydration” and post-practice health and cleanliness tips.
After months without live sports, fans are eager for the thrill of the game. Gatorade’s new Ready To Play campaign taps into this budding excitement and shows fans that, like them, professional athletes are more than ready for sports to return. The timeliness of the ad could score big with fans and serve to remind viewers that things could soon return to normal.