BSkyB enters sports drink arena

BSkyB is to take on Lucozade and Gatorade with its own isotonic sports drink, Sky Sports Drink. It will be launched on May 1 by soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr.

The apple and blackcurrant flavoured canned drink will be distributed nationally through supermarkets, cash & carry and wholesale outlets and via AG Barr’s own direct delivery system, says AG Barr group marketing manager Nigel Dugdale.

“We were first approached by Sky last summer,” he says. “Because the Sky Sports brand has such a high profile with younger consumers it was an obvious fit with the youth-oriented soft drinks market.”

The idea began as a promotion but ended up as a product in its own right, BSkyB marketing manager Jim Hytner explains. “We approached a number of soft drinks firms but only AG Barr took it seriously.”

Previously BSkyB has linked with Tesco for branding on eggs and with Hagen-Dazs for a branded promotional booklet. Sky Sports Drink is the result of a licensing deal, but it is more than just a gimmick, Hytner insists.

Each can will carry a promotion involving a competition to become a Sky Sports commentator for the day.

At the moment, the blackcurrant and apple drink is a one-off but much depends on how successful it is. “It’s not as difficult to get into the drinks market as it once was,” Hytner adds. Sky Sports Drink will be promoted by advertising on Sky channels and in the Sky TV Guide.

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