There's an old fashioned brawl brewing in the sports drink industry. The undisputed champion, Gatorade, has filed a lawsuit accusing its perennial challenger, Powerade, of "knowingly misleading consumers and deceptively overstating the product benefits of its sports drink Powerade ION4." The lawsuit is in response to a rash of bold Powerade ads which claim ION4 is an "upgrade" from Gatorade because the Powerade drink contains four electrolytic ingredients, whereas Gatorade contains only two, thus making Powerade a more "complete" drink. Gatorade contests that the "claim is complete in only one way – that it's completely false." Nice one.
A recent ESPN the Magazine cover showed just half the face of Manny Ramirez. The right half of the cover was plain white with small text stating, "You wouldn't settle for an incomplete cover." The inside cover had a large picture of a Gatorade bottle above the punch line: "then don't settle for an incomplete sports drink."
Potential implications of a magazine selling half its cover aside, it was aggressive marketing like this that prompted the lawsuit by Gatorade, which was filed in the US District Court in New York. Both sides agree that the ION4 formula includes potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium, while Gatorade only includes sodium and potassium. The ION4 website claims that its formula puts back into athletes what they lose as they sweat, and in the exact proportions they lose it: 100 mg of sodium, 24.2 of potassium, 2.5 of calcium and 1.2 of magnesium. With calcium and magnesium in its formula, Powerade claims it's created a more complete drink.
Gatorade's response? Tap water contains higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium than ION4. Gatorade provided the plot shown below in responding to me via email, adding that the amount of calcium and magnesium accounts for just one half of a percent of the daily recommended allowances. Powerarde declined to comment on the Gatorade counterclaims, stating only that, "We stand behind our product and are prepared to defend Powerade's role in hydrating consumers."
With Powerarde owned by Coca-Cola Co. and Gatorade backed by PepsiCo., there's enough cash for this fight to go the distance. For Powerade, the attention it receives through the suit alone might justify the campaign. According to Nielsen, Powerade spent just 14 million dollars on media last year, while Gatorade spent 112 million dollars. Hopefully there's a separate account for legal fees.
powerade is owned by coca cola and gatorade is owned by pepsico
ditto the first comment. powerade part of coca cola and gatorade part of pepsico. I also wouldn't worry too much about the legal budget they have over at Coke I think they'll be able to cover it.
It has what plant's crave. It has electrolytes... lol
i prefer gatorade because i thnnk it tastes better. i just drink water after a workout. why pay to get hydrated why not just drink free, clear, tasteless drinkamucation.
Uhh, look here man. Uggghhh, if electrolytes are your thing, ahh, I assure you, the Biaviians are a benevolent people, who aahh, do not harbor prejudice, and things of this nature, rather, enjoy and welcome people of aaaahhhh, ughhh, alternative lifestyles. You understand?
Don't hate--participate, eh Riley? Haha. I have a question for you, Riley. What is your opinion on Gatorade's decision to create a Stagyian Purple flavor? Because it seems like you should receive some royalties from the sale of this new beverage.
Well I would love to speak with them and aaahh, get their permission. Zaaaaarg. The things I have learned, it is aahhh, not best to reveal. I bade them, aaah, not to have aaahhh, telepathic intercourse with, uugggh, these beings. You understand? Is this Meetzorp? Do this create stomach problems from, aaahh, uummm, alcohol imbibing?
Well put, my friend. Ha ha. Well, it looks like it's time for shout-outs.
Are either Powerade or Gatorade really any good anyway?