Purdue News

October 5, 2005

Author to speak on Gatorade's marketing juggernaut

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The author of Gatorade's success story, "First in Thirst," will talk about the book and the brand at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management on Oct. 14.

"First in Thirst"
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Darren Rovell, ESPN.com's sports business reporter, will talk about his book at 4 p.m. in Rawls Hall, Room 1086. The talk is free and open to the public.

Subtitled "How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon," Rovell's "First in Thirst" tells the story of how Gatorade was invented, marketed and has vanquished all comers to the sports-drink industry for the last 40 years.

Gatorade, writes Rovell, has the requisite qualities to be a killer brand: It's scientifically proven to do what it says – provide hydration for athletes and consumers – and works better than both water and competitors' products. The public accepts and trusts the product, and the company pounds the brand into the sports consumer's consciousness in virtually every sport, venue and medium.

Rovell goes inside Gatorade's successes in marketing, advertising and endorsements and behind closed corporate doors into the company's negotiations, legal wrangles, strategies, its wins and very few losses.

The book also includes business lessons – the nine "Gatorade Rules," the principles that have made Gatorade so successful. These rules can be adopted by other businesses that want to develop their own distinctive brands.

Rovell also lays out a Purdue-Gatorade connection in the book.

"Purdue was an easy Gatorade customer. Not only did many Purdue alumni work for Stokely (Gatorade's parent company), but the school's campus was only 65 miles from Stokely-Van Camp headquarters (Notre Dame was 145 miles away). As legend has it, just two days after the 28-21 victory by the Boilermakers, a Notre Dame team representative who was aware of the drink disparity ordered 20 cases."

Rovell contributes to a number of ESPN shows, including "Sports Center," "Outside the Lines," "Cold Pizza," as well as for ESPN radio affiliates. He is co-author of "On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business from America's Sports Leaders." He was named to Newsbios' 2004 "30 Under 30" list, the top 30 national business reporters under 30 years old.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Source: Darren Rovell, thegatoradeguy@aol.com

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Note to Journalists: Darren Rovell will be available to answer individual journalists' questions immediately after his talk. If alternate arrangements are required, contact Tim Newton, Krannert School director of external relations and communications, (765) 496-7271, tnewton@purdue.edu.


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