[Fox Business] BODYARMOR becomes official sports drink of NHL: ‘A perfect fit’

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The National Hockey League announced on Tuesday that BODYARMOR is its new official sports drink.

BODYARMOR advertisements will be featured throughout NHL arenas beginning with the Stanley Cup Playoffs later this week to kick off the new multiyear partnership.

Players will be well-equipped with the beverage throughout their games and practices, and BODYARMOR Chief Marketing Officer Tom Gargiulo says it is the “perfect time” for the two brands to join forces.

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“It’s one of the fastest growing youth sports in North America, the fact that we just launched BODYARMOR up north in Canada is massive for us… And then I think it’s all around the growth of the sport,” Gargiulo said in an interview with FOX Business. “Since they moved to ESPN and Turner, they’ve seen massive increases in viewership, the fandom continues to grow younger and more diverse. This sport is going through a bit of a renaissance with the youth movement. It’s a perfect opportunity for us.”

Gargiulo understands that there are lots of rivals in the sports and energy drink business — so it’s understandable why they punched ahead of arguably the greatest playoffs in any sport.

“The fact that the category is becoming more fragmented, eyeballs are at a premium right now,” Gargiulo said. “It’s important for us to partner with athletes and sports properties and media partners that are going to give us an opportunity to get those eyeballs on our brand.”

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Of course, Gargiulo wants as many eyeballs on these playoffs as possible, so it’s understandable why he’d want some of the league’s high-market organizations to make deep runs. In any case, though, he’s a huge New York Rangers fan, who just won the President’s Trophy for the most points of the regular season. So, a nice run for the Blueshirts would be a win-win for him, personally.

But, he begrudges, “Networks and teams aside, we’re just looking forward to some awesome hockey and awesome viewership.”

BODYARMOR is probably best known for not having any artifical sweeteners or flavors in its drinks, with coconut water giving it a unique flavor. That’s why when they were trying to get Connor McDavid on board as a partner, they had to have an elite sales pitch.

Gargiulo said McDavid was “a little unsure about” becoming a partner, because the beverage hadn’t been made available in his home country of Canada (he also plays for the Edmonton Oilers). But after trying it out, he “fell in love.”

“BODYARMOR is unlike anything else out on the market today, and that was a big reason why I joined the team,” McDavid said in a statement. “They provide the best in hydration and have a ton of momentum lately with expanding to Canada — so teaming up with the NHL and NHLPA was a perfect next step, and I’m excited to be a part of it as the brand continues to grow.” 

Now that McDavid is on board, and the fact that a hockey fanbase is unlike any other, it likely provided smooth sailing for a deal with the league.

“It all goes back to our positioning of being real. Everything that we do is real – from the partners that we partner with, to the acts that we have in the market, no artificial flavors, no artificial sweeteners, we wanted to partner with a sport where the fandom is as good as it gets,” says Gargiulo. “You can’t get a more loyal fan than the NHL fan… Once they’re connected to the sport, they’re in it for the long run and are 100% committed to it. So for us, it just seems like a perfect fit.”

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