First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon

Posted By: maxxum

Darren Rovell, «First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon»
AMACOM | ISBN 0814472990 | 2005-08-08 Year | PDF | 1.1 Mb | 243 pages

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Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Gatorade's invention, First in Thirst chronicles the rise of the sports drink industry and the near-monopoly that Gatorade has built and maintained through savvy marketing and branding strategies.
Gatorade's history spans the nutrition and fitness fads as well as the rise of celebrity endorsers and designer advertising. Rovell has gained access to virtually all of the key figures in this colorful and instructive story, from the original inventors to top executives to well-known athletes and coaches. The book includes exclusive accounts of the drink's invention, and takes an inside look at the evolution of a global phenomenon. In many ways, Gatorade has found the Holy Grail of product success: it not only created and perfected a great product, it also singlehandedly built the need and the market that would ensure that product's dominance year after year.
"Given its prominence and brand equity, it's amazing we've had to wait until now to read the story about the domination of Gatorade. Darren Rovell will quench your thirst by deftly weaving the tale from its humble beginnings to its extraordinary market share and iconic brand status." – David Stern, NBA Commissioner
"Well dump a bucket of green juice over my head! This guy knows how to tell a story. What a great insider's look at the building of a brand that people believe in." – Seth Godin, author, All Marketers Are Liars

From Publishers Weekly
What began in 1965 as the after-hours project of four University of Florida doctors, Gatorade has grown into an internationally renowned brand that today comprises 80 percent of the U.S. sports drink market it created. A lifelong Gatorade consumer and's sports business writer, Rovell locates the increasingly wide intersection of sports, business and popular culture, creating an account wide in scope, rich in details and sufficiently varied to keep the pages turning. Rovell's research pays big dividends in entertaining stories, relating, for instance, when Florida's head football coach, Ray Graves, initially allowed the doctors to test Gatorade, but only on his freshman team; or the late nights before games when the doctors could be found in the lab squeezing lemons into the concoction to mask its then-rancid taste; or Stokely Van-Camp's decision, when buying Gatorade from the doctors and their investors, to compensate the Gatorade Trust on a royalty structure instead of paying a flat $1 million fee, which "turned out to be a boon for the doctors. Instead of collecting a couple of hundred thousand dollars each, they were to earn more than $30 million each over the next 40 years;" and even criticism of Gatorade by those who assert the company "overpromotes hydration in order to promote its product." Throughout his account, Rovell reveals the many secrets of Gatorade's success, portraying the company as an ever-evolving pioneer that continually tweaks its business model to remain on top, a sports analogy to be sure.