Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Gatorade Rebrands and Expands into a Workout Drink Trio

I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to Gatorade. I know there are no addictive substances in it, but I get crabby and irritable if I go too long without it. And if I’m close to running out, then it’s a relative crisis in my book. You will almost never find me without a Gatorade bottle! Since I clearly pay such close attention, I’ve noticed some interesting changes to the Gatorade brand in the past few years.

First, a few years ago they started really de-emphasizing the classic “Gatorade” name. It’s always a shock when a product you like changes the packaging, so imagine how jarring it was for me when all of a sudden all of the Gatorade bottles were replaced with “G” bottles. For a split second (and while in sheer panic) I thought I had lost my vice. But after closer inspection, “Gatorade” could be found on all the bottles, but it was relegated to some of the smallest type on the packaging.

Now, in the last year or so, they have taken it one step further. Gatorade is no longer just one drink; it is a set of drinks dubbed the “G SERIES.” There are 3 steps/drinks to this:

  • 01 PRIME (Before Exercise): It supplies carbohydrates and B-Vitamins as a sort of pre-game “fuel.” Oddly, it actually does not come in a bottle…instead it comes in a soft foil package that is squeezed.
  • 02 PERFORM (During Exercise): The classic G and G2 (Gatorade and Low-Calorie Gatorade, respectively). It replenishes vital nutrients and energy.
  • 03 RECOVER (After exercise): Designed to provide tired muscles with the protein it needs to recover and rebuild.

Gatorade's "G Series"

Gatorade's "G Series"

The effectiveness of “G SERIES” as a workout tool is debatable, but it is DEFINITELY a bold marketing step. Rebranding and/or expanding a classic product with the name recognition and 40-plus-year history of Gatorade is a risky move. Hopefully for them it has paid off by opening up new marketing angles.

Plain ol’ Gatorade isn’t good enough for all your workout needs! Now you need something new and exciting before and after workouts to out-class your competition. I’m interested to see if this technique (which is a very original idea in their market) is effective, or if in a few years G SERIES is just a memory and we go back to the bottles with the Gatorade name proudly displayed on them.

Have you noticed this rebrand? Is it a smart step or a mistake for the Gatorade name?


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Sean McGarry

    I think it’s actually a progression of the classic Gatorade Brand- you’ll remember it was developed by Scientists at The University of Florida as a superior beverage for their athletes to drink mid game…

    As a Georgia Bulldog, I think the strategic move to put a little distance between the Brand and UF makes sense; I love the G series.

  2. KB

    I wasn’t aware of the new rebrand. It’s tough to say whether or not this is going to be a smart move on their part. While it does open new doors for athletes, it may also reduce it’s effectiveness to a possibly larger market of theirs which is just everyday consumers like yourself who like the taste. If it is marketed too heavily for athletes, will it be less attractive to the average person who is just thirsty?

    It’s also risky because I do know some pretty hard core athletes and once they get set on the product line that they like, it is pretty hard to sway them from their routine. Once they know something works for them, their hooked. It’s like an addiction to go along with their sport, it truly is a lifestyle. It will be interesting to see what this move does for Gatorade.

    • QLP Jill

      I agree! If they market too heavily within the “athlete” crowd, the Average Joes of the world may get the impression that the drinks aren’t the right choice for them. I know that was my biggest aversion to Propel Fitness Water for so long…it was branded as a “fitness drink” so I never bothered to drink it when I wasn’t exercising. As strange as that sounds, it’s true. 🙂

      Great post, Jeff! And don’t worry about being addicted to Gatorade – we all have our silly little addictions here and there. I couldn’t live without Florida’s Natural Orange Juice (No Pulp)…it’s the greatest beverage in the world and I REFUSE to buy any other OJ! 😉

  3. Doc

    I feel like Gatorade has the sports drink market cornered and anything they do is going to be a success. When you have the top athletes in every sport (Peyton Manning, Dwayne Wade, Derek Jeter, Landon Donovan etc.) endorsing your product, it makes it easier to take risks like this because the faces will promote the product and consumers are always more likely to buy something that has their favorite athlete’s picture on it. It is not so much the product that they are putting out, but the people they have endorsing the product that makes the difference.

    • JPorretto

      Just imagine if they’d have gotten Ron Karkovice!

  4. JJ "Suite G"

    I’ve admittedly been confused by Gatorade’s re-branding effort for a few years now. Their name has risen to iconic status over the past decade or two–when it comes to sports drinks, at least. They face stronger and stronger opposition in their market nowadays from the likes of Powerade and countless other imitators. They’ve never needed their name value more than they do right now. Why would they attempt to showcase their product without it? Maybe that’s just me, though.

    This blog also calls to mind the recent logo revamp that the Sci-Fi Channel underwent when they opted to rename and market themselves as the “SyFy” Channel. How ridiculous!!! A small piece of my soul died when that happened.

    ***I also died a little bit when they canceled “Battlestar.”

    ***In fact, I’m basically dead inside because of them.

    • JPorretto

      Until you just said that, I was not 100% positive SyFy was the same channel Sci-Fi.

      I can see why you died a little.

  5. Becky Gatch

    I think it’s an ok idea that had to be done on their part….but I don’t think whole “series” will take off. If these are sold individually people will pick & choose as they always do. I personally don’t care for all the sugar in the Gatorade products – so drinking them in a 3 part series – no way.

  6. Lou Groce

    Pre and Post workout drinks have become a huge market for people trying to maximize their workout results. Gatorade is trying to get their foot in the door in this huge market and they are already a huge name in the sports drink industry. One problem though I see is that alot of people drink Gatorade as a substitue for pop or water not necessarily as a workout drink. Because of this, I don’t see the first or third drinks becoming all that popular.

  7. Alex

    I believe Gatorade is trying too hard to market towards the athlete and keep up with the supplement craze. Changing their logo to “G” and “G2” was one thing, but the 3 step “G Series” is a bit much. In the long run this could just cost them money to market and make the product when the original Gatorade is the only major seller.

  8. Finger Food

    Lets cut the crap; this is ALL about selling MORE Gatorade.

    They want you to THINK you need three drinks…

    Think about it, before you were able to get away with drinking just one bottle to replenish the electrolytes you lost while exercising… now they want you to buy THREE bottles.

    Genius marketing ploy if you ask me.

    I just feel sorry for the school gym janitors who now have to worry about stocking all three stages of Gatorade G otherwise fear the backlash of the student athletes.

    I personally think Gatorade is stupid. Long love Arizona Iced Tea’s Arnold Palmer – JK! )

    PS. Yes I’m a fat kid!

  9. Cybernetic SAM

    Ahh man I miss just saying oh I want the red one or the blue one, now they have all sorts of crazy labels. It is neat though.

  10. Tony Promo

    I think this is an epic failure waiting to happen…

    Case and point: I recently purchased “G2”, or the low calorie version of the classic Gatorade because, in my haste, I mistook it for the new “02”. I’m typically not going to stand at the cooler in 7-11 and go through the various genres and sub-genres of sports drinks. I want my Riptide Rush and I’m out. No, I’m not training for next season, but that doesn’t mean I deserved to get confused out of that delicious carb-laden refreshment I grew up with. At the same time, I’m slowly turning into a grumpy young/old man, so my opinion isn’t completely valid.. I’m just mad that they discontinued Gatorgum, as it’s already hard enough to find Fruit Stripe.

    • JPO

      Yeah, G 02 vs G2 is a hot mess. That just seems like poor planning/ decision making.

Leave a Comment

Copyright 2003 - 2015 Quality Logo Products, Inc., Registration No. TX7-524-201. All Rights Reserved.