Special to NYSportsJournalism
August 27, 2012: Vita Coco, one of the growing brands in the burgeoning fresh coconut water category, has moved into NFL territory, signing four players who will tout the product in upcoming marketing.
New to Vita Coco's endorsement roster are TE Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers and wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Eric Decker (Denver Broncos) and Devin Hester (Chicago Bears).
Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
The four players will be featured in Vita Coco’s multi-media U.S. campaign, to include digital media, radio, outdoor and retail now through the end of the year, according to the company.
All marketing will come with the company's on-going tagline: “Hydrate naturally.”
The brand's first NFL endorsers join as Vita Coco spokespersons Joakim Noah of the NBA's Chicago Bulls, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Texas Rangers all-star outfielder Josh Hamilton, surfing champion Kelly Slater and award-winning singer Rihanna.
Sales of coconut water products doubled in the U.S. and Europe in 2011, with the U.S. market estimated to be $110 million, according to industry Web site BeverageDaily.com.
Among others in the category are PowerCoco, whose endorsers include Carmelo Anthony of the NBA's New York Knicks; and Zico, whose Web site features 70 athlete endorsers, such as Olympic decathlete Bryan Clay, Boston Celtics all-star Kevin Garnett and surfer Bethany Hamilton.
“With all the talk about natural hydration, I had to try it for myself. Now I keep a few cases at home and in the locker room fridge."
Vita Coco, which seeks to replace sports drinks such as Gatorade in locker rooms, said that the mission of its athlete roster is to "educate consumers about the importance of natural hydration."
“I’ve started drinking all-natural Vita Coco, and I can feel the difference in my training,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “With all the talk about natural hydration, I had to try it for myself. Now I keep a few cases at home and in the locker room fridge to stay hydrated and avoid cramps. It really works!”
Vita Coco said it is available at more than 60,000 stores across the country.
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