By Barry Janoff
May 9, 2012: Josh Hamilton, fresh off an historic game in which he hit four home runs and set an American League record with 18 total bases, has signed a deal to represent Vita Coco.
Hamilton, an outfielder for the Texas Rangers, joins Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and 11-time ASP World Surfing champion Kelly Slater as sports faces for the Vita Coco brand. The company is also represented by hip-hop star Rihanna.
Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.
Despite the fact that he is one of the highest profile players in Major League Baseball, companies have stayed away from marketing deals with Hamilton due to his tattered background, which includes struggles with alcohol and drugs. His other deals are baseball-specific, including Nike cleats, Wilson gloves, Louisville Slugger bats and Franklin batting gloves.
Hamilton, who was the first pick in the 1999 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, has been through rehab programs, which along with his strong religious convictions helped him to earn AL MVP honors in 2010 and a spot on four All-Star teams (2008-11).
Hamilton and the Rangers have been to the World Series in each of the past two seasons, losing to the San Francisco Giants (2010) and St. Louis Cardinals (2011).
Over the past years, Hamilton has experienced the highs and lows of being an athlete. On July 7, 2011, Shannon Stone, a fan in attendance with his son at Rangers Ballpark, leaned over a rail to catch a ball tossed into the stands by Hamilton and fell 20 feet; Stone later died from his injuries.
On May 8, 2012, he become just the 16th player in MLB history to hit four homers in a game en route to setting an AL mark for most total bases in one game.
Vita Coco, which said it is the best-selling fresh coconut water brand in the nation, said that Hamilton would be part of an effort to "educate consumers about the importance of natural hydration."
Hamilton will be featured in Vita Coco’s U.S. marketing campaign, “Hydrate Naturally,” beginning this summer via radio, billboard, POP and digital/social media including Facebook and Twitter.
“The authenticity of this partnership is that Josh drinks Vita Coco as part of his training and he’s having an incredible season."
“The authenticity of this partnership is that Josh drinks Vita Coco as part of his training and he’s having an incredible season,” Michael Kirban, Vita Coco CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that more and more world-class athletes have made Vita Coco their choice for natural hydration before, during and after a game.”
VIta Coco said it has found a "loyal following among professional and amateur athletes alike, who swear by the brand for its electrolyte-rich hydration and nutrient replenishment properties."