Sparkling ICE Announces First Kevin Durant Advertising Campaign
In July, the fastest-growing sparkling flavored water beverage brand in the U.S. signed an endorsement agreement with Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. The company, Sparkling ICE, took its time to activate surrounding its contractual relationship with the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player. Four months later, it has announced a brand new advertising campaign featuring Durant titled, “The Bold and the Best,” which will be displayed on billboards starting with Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Austin, Texas and Oklahoma City. The campaign will also be shared on digital platforms, including ESPN .com and Bleacher Report.
“Getting the opportunity to partner with a brand that I genuinely love and drink every day has been an awesome experience, and I am excited to take that partnership to the next level with the launch of our first advertising campaign,” Durant said.
Durant’s words were confirmed by Nina Morrison, VP of Community and Customer Relations at Talking Rain Beverage Company (makers of Sparkling ICE).
According to Morrison, the reason that Sparkling ICE entered into an endorsement deal with Durant in the first place was because his representatives at Roc Nation Sports reached out to Sparkling ICE and notified the company that its beverage was Durant’s drink of choice. Sparkling ICE was advised that its product was all Durant would drink and that he was interested in inquiring about being partners with the brand.
“We got a call in April from Roc Nation that they wanted to come see us,” explained Morrison. ”They told us, ‘we’re coming in town to celebrate Robinson Cano’s Opening Day.’ We asked ourselves, ‘Roc Nation wants to see us?’”
Roc Nation first introduced its athlete representation practice through the announcement that it signed Major League Baseball second baseman Robinson Cano. Roc Nation then worked with its partner Creative Artists Agency to help negotiate a 10 year, $240 million contract for Cano to perform for the Seattle Mariners. Sparkling ICE is based in nearby Preston, Washington.
In June, Roc Nation Sports announced that it had signed Durant as a client to its ever-expanding list of represented athletes. Roc Nation has since been extremely active putting in place a plan that expands Durant’s opportunities of the court, which includes a recent deal that delivers equity to Durant in Oklahoma City-based frozen yogurt chain Orange Leaf.
Despite Durant’s growing endorsement portfolio, Sparkling ICE remains excited about what Durant offers to the brand.
“We thought about having influencers, but never in a million years thought that Kevin Durant would come to us,” Morrison added. ”He was formerly with the [Seattle] Sonics, so we definitely knew who he was. He is both authentic, humble. The fit was there.”
Sparkling ICE did a small introduction through the dissemination of a press release when Durant signed his endorsement deal with the brand back in July. The new advertising campaign featuring Durant is Sparkling ICE’s first real promotional vehicle announcing to NBA fans, and particularly fans of Durant, that there is a partnership in place. It serves as the “kick-off” to a larger campaign, slated to debut in 2015.
According to figures provided by Sparkling ICE, the brand went from $2.7 million in sales in 2009 to $350 million in 2013. It is projecting sales of roughly $500 million for 2014.
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