Powerade settles score with Gatorade over LeBron James cramps
Powerade on Monday got even with Gatorade over the latter's taunting of LeBron James in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Miami Heat's superstar and Powerade endorser James suffered from severe leg cramps twice during the game. The Heat lost over San Antonio Spurs 110-95.
"There is strength in the silence. The best response is made on the court", posted Powerade on its Twitter account after Lebron's dominant 35-point, 10-rebound feat in Miami's Game 2 victory, 98-96.
In Game 1, Gatorade went on offensive when it took advantage of the cramping incident to promote its product implying that James could have avoided the cramps if he had been drinking Gatorade instead of Powerade. "The person cramping wasn't our client. Our athletes can take the heat", Gatorade tweeted. The air conditioner at the AT&T Center in San Antonio was not working at that time and the temperature nearly hit 90. "We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else", it added.
Gatorade has since apologized for the comments and deleted the tweets. "Our apologies for our response to fans' tweets during (Thursday) night's Heat vs. Spurs game," it said in a statement. "We got caught up in the heat of the battle. As a longtime partner of the Miami Heat, we support the entire team."
According to Beverage Digest, Gatorade's market share of the U.S. sports drink market has been on the decline recently. After dominating the market at around 80 percent for decades, Gatorade in 2013 went down to 69.5 percent of the U.S. sports drink market. Powerade's market share is modestly rising at 28.8 percent.
Gatorade is the official sports drink of the NBA since 1984, making it the league's longest-standing sponsor. It displays its brand name on cups and coolers; and a bottle of Gatorade is highly visible in every postgame press conference. In fact, players on the bench can only drink two beverage options during games: water or Gatorade. And that rule also applies to LeBron James.