The brand's SXSW installation showed how serious they are about being a part of the future of sports

Gatorade, the global sports drink brand, has put the SXSW stage to good use with an impressive showcase that not only tells the brand’s current story but also focuses on its future. The G-Store is part product showroom, part pop-up training gym that uses the latest technology to challenge athletes.

Upon entry, attendees were given tablets. Gatorade has since expanded from the drink to protein shakes, snack bars, and workout equipment. The tablets serve as a guide to each product, highlighting their purpose. Gatorade calls itself “the Sports Fuel Company” and it groups products into four major categories: hydration, energy, recovery, and endurance. Once the tour of the product lines is up, the G-Store holds the secret door to a gym.

A neat row of refrigerators containing Gatorade’s rainbow of flavors open up to space intensely lit by neon lights. Welcome to the training ground of the future, where lasers, VR joysticks and LED lights test your sporting ability. Stations in the “gym” are ready for attendees to try out.

There are several VR headsets and joysticks that show off Gatorade’s own VR game called Beat the Blitz. The experience, which is free-to-play on Steam, helps players practice their throwing skills with a digitized Peyton Manning as coach. Aside from gameplay, Beat the Blitz also provides “tours” inside the body and explains the effects of dehydration and Gatorade’s benefits on the body.

Reaction time, ability, and speed are tested in another station called RE/ACT. LED lights provoke the player to push strategically placed buttons.

Gatorade positions itself not just as a sports drink but a partner in bringing the best and the latest to athletic training. The drink, now owned by PepsiCo, was first mixed in a laboratory at the University of Florida. Formulated by a team of scientists upon request by the Florida Gators (hence Gator-ade), the product is one of the most successful of its kind.

This move to fuel athletics forwards with technology is a shared goal among big brands. Nike has built a digital track in Manila which lets runners race against their avatars. Adidas has also come out with a strong vision for a tech-fueled future of sports. In the 2017 PSFK conference, Gatorade’s Xavic Cortadellas spoke with Tucker Fort of Smart Design about the data-centric future of athletics.

Gatorade, the global sports drink brand, has put the SXSW stage to good use with an impressive showcase that not only tells the brand’s current story but also focuses on its future. The G-Store is part product showroom, part pop-up training gym that uses the latest technology to challenge athletes.

Upon entry, attendees were given tablets. Gatorade has since expanded from the drink to protein shakes, snack bars, and workout equipment. The tablets serve as a guide to each product, highlighting their purpose. Gatorade calls itself “the Sports Fuel Company” and it groups products into four major categories: hydration, energy, recovery, and endurance. Once the tour of the product lines is up, the G-Store holds the secret door to a gym.