Sparkling ICE may not be a sports drink, but if KD wants on your side, you don’t ask questions. You just sign the papers and shake hands.
Kevin Durant, who plays for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and was named the league’s most valuable player for the 2013-14 season, will begin endorsing Sparkling ICE, the popular brand of zero-calorie, flavored sparkling beverages that saw sales grow from $100 million to about $400 million over an 18-month span.
Talking Rain, which owns the Sparkling ICE brand, tweeted the news on Monday morning:
— Sparkling ICE® (@SparklingICE) July 14, 2014
Durant has long been a fan of the brand, having begun his NBA career with the Seattle Supersonics. The team played about 22 miles from Talking Rain headquarters in Preston, Wash., before relocating to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season.
“I’ve always challenged myself on the basketball court, but this offseason is really the first year I’m challenging myself off of it — on the business side,” Durant told ESPN.com. “This is a brand I drink every day that I love and I wanted to be a part of it. I want to help them get to the next level.”
Durant ended his partnership with Gatorade in September.
This marks the first major endorsement deal for Sparkling ICE, which launched its first multi-market ad campaign in June 2013. Talking Rain CEO Kevin Klock told ESPN that the agreement with Durant was one that “fell into place when Kevin came to us.”
The deal was handled by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which Durant joined in June 2013. Michael Yormark, president and chief strategy officer of the agency, said that Sparkling ICE has already been “a part of him and he wanted to have an official relationship.” Durant also endorses the 2K Sports video game series, Sprint and KIND bars, among others.