For a brand like Gatorade, SXSW certainly feels like a fitting place to further test its experiential marketing strategy with dehydrated and bleary-eyed attendees and give them a health-focused reality check. Gatorade geared up at SXSW to show attendees it’s more than just a beverage company.
The company erected a G-Store pop-up at the event, featuring their products and a new line, G ESSNTL. Attendees were given a tablet and asked to scan four separate sections of the store to learn more about each item through augmented reality. After completing the course, a refrigerator filled with Gatorade opened its doors to a space that shows how the brand is using tech as part of its marketing strategy.
“G-Store is a way for us to showcase how broad the Gatorade product portfolio really is through hydration, energy, recovery, endurance products and more—but with a twist,” said Gina Hardy, head of consumer and athlete engagement, to AListDaily. “While the retail shop spotlights our innovation, the stockroom is a competitive playground that showcases how evolving technology is fueling training for athletes.”
Once attendees walked through the refrigerator, they were able to try different tech training tools. Gatorade partnered with the app Volt to create an on-demand digital trainer.
Then there was Beat the Blitz. Gatorade’s virtual reality game shows users how dehydration can impact throwing accuracy and overall performance for quarterbacks.
Gatorade’s “Handles Hero” leveraged the Lazer 900 to deliver ball-handling drills using a real basketball designed to train players to make decisions quickly and correctly, similar to a live game situation.
“SXSW is such a destination event, and there’s competition for engagement in every direction,” said Hardy. “The key to being successful—no matter where you are—is staying authentic to your brand.”