US sports drinks brand BodyArmor has agreed a new partnership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a deal made possible through shareholder Coca-Cola.
BodyArmor will become the official sports drink of NCAA championships, including basketball’s March Madness, beginning in 2019.
Coca-Cola is an existing ‘corporate champion’ of the NCAA and will effectively sublicense the sports drinks element of the partnership to BodyArmor, in which it became the second-largest shareholder in August.
As part of the agreement, BodyArmor’s logo will be seen on coolers, cups, water bottles and on sidelines and bench areas at NCAA championships. In addition, BodyArmor sports drink will be available in all sideline coolers and in locker rooms.
Since launching in 2011, BodyArmor has risen to become the number three sports drinks brand in the US. BodyArmor is also the Official Sports Drink of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and boasts a portfolio of former collegiate athletes and professional athlete partners, all of whom are investors in the brand, including James Harden, Mike Trout, Dustin Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Andrew Luck, Mookie Betts, Anthony Rizzo, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Megan Rapinoe and Diana Taurasi.
In 2013, basketball legend Kobe Bryant invested in the brand and he is currently one of the top shareholders in the company. BodyArmor founder and chairman, Mike Repole, told ESPN.com that his goal is to be the number one sports drink in America, overtaking Gatorade by 2025.
“College athletes playing at the highest level will now be drinking BodyArmor, some of them for the first time,” Repole said. “We have an NCAA deal now and expect to, in the coming years, be the Official Sports Drink of the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NFL.”