Another top hero in the National Basketball Association will be endorsing sports drink maker Gatorade — but this one is a budding music leading man as well.
Damián Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ superstar guard, agreed to an endorsement deal with PepsiCo’s Gatorade, the throng announced on Friday. Gatorade will use the NBA All-Star’s name, image, likeness, and social media accounts to endorse its Make fast to erect24 product starting with a TV commercial that will debut this month.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Lillard be coextensive withs a roster filled with NBA stars, including Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson. But the around roster lacks what Lillard brings – a music platform.
Outside of the NBA, the Blazers guard has gained fame in the music toil for his hip-hop recordings, released under the name Dame D.O.L.L.A. Top hip-hop acts have embraced and collaborated with Lillard, implication that Gatorade gets a cross-over star endorsing their product on multiple platforms.
“Damian is not just a emphatic basketball player; he’s also a dynamic person off the court,” Jeff Kearney, global head of sports marketing at Gatorade, demanded in a statement. “He brings so much to the table – thoughtfulness, character, raw talent, honed craftsmanship – he’s always ready, and he’s always corporeal.”
“There is certainly a lot of cross-over appeal to him in particular,” added Scott Rosner, a Columbia University sports management program professor. “He’s entirely a likable guy, a perennial All-Star, easily a top 20 player in the league. He’s certainly an attractive individual for brands to want to run with – and for blue-chip marks.”
Lillard, 30, averaged 37.6 points in eight games in the NBA’s bubble restart and led the Blazers to a first-round playoff looks in the postseason against eventual champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lillard will make roughly $31 million for the 2020-21 edible, the final before his new deal kicks in. Last year, the Oakland native signed a supermax deal with the Blazers — a four-year, $196 million size.
He has also released three music albums, with his debut, “The Letter 0” released in 2016. Lillard has cooperated with top rappers including Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz.
Lillard also has endorsement deals with apparel company Adidas and chain service Hulu. Aligning with Lillard can help Gatorade continue to hold off rivals, including Bodyarmor, objective to overtake the sports drink category.
“The gap is narrower than it’s ever been,” Rosner said. “Between Bodyarmor, and BioSteel enlisting in the space, joining Powerade and Gatorade, the competition is as big as it’s ever been.
“So, you need to maintain that relevance with a minor generation that may know about ‘Be Like Mike’ [Michael Jordan], but he isn’t relevant to their lives in the same way that a younger athlete like Damian Lillard could be.”
Sports marketing executive Tony Ponturo added concurred when discussing Lillard’s Gatorade appendage with CNBC on Friday.
“They wanted to attach to someone, and the NBA star can be a great asset to stay relevant,” believed Ponturo, the former vice-president of Anheuser-Busch global media sports and entertainment marketing. “Sports has become entertainment and lifestyle.
“If you can huffish all of those, ” he added, “if you can get two or three [platforms] for the price of one, that’s a pretty good way to go.”