PureSport's promotional coup

PureSport, a powdered sports drink brand, launched in a Sports Authority in Chicago last week, and they brought their new spokesman: Michael Phelps.

More than 1500 fans turned out to meet the eight-time gold medal winner, but the story here is that Phelps signed on to promote a relatively small brand instead of a category standard-bearer like Gatorade.

Phelps has already appeared in a number of promotions not typical of Olympians – like Frosted Flakes, AT&T Wireless internet connection cards and Rosetta Stone language learning software. Phelps said he personally used Rosetta Stone to learn Chinese prior to the Beijing Olympics, and said in PureSport’s promotional material that he trained for his epic run using PureSport products.

“I signed on with HPL PureSport because their drinks taste great and they work,” Phelps said. “PureSport helps me with my workouts and performance and allows me to recover without soreness; it’s legal and clean.”

The Austin American-Statesman reported in August that Phelps did train using the product, developed at the University of Texas. The paper ran the article under the headline “Move over, Gatorade: UT’s mix joins the league of sports drinks,” and that title might be more appropriate than editors in Austin realized. As long as Phelps’ star power lasts, the PureSport could become a lot more prominent in the near future.