The Story Behind the Sweat Patch: Innovating at Gatorade
In 1965, when University of Florida football coaches discovered that players were losing 18lb in weight during 3 hours of practice, they created “Cade’s Ade,” (soon renamed the snappier Gatorade). The glucose-electrolyte drink was a solution to combat players’ dehydration and energy loss in the swampy Florida heat. Gatorade expanded that initial commitment to sports “fuel” to sports nutrition and research, and in 1985, founded the Sports Science Institute (GSSI), a laboratory that analyzes the effects of hydration and nutrition on the human body before and after exercise.
Over the years, Gatorade has evolved its products and services while staying true to its mission of helping athletes achieve their goals. Sports drinks are analog experiences, so when Gatorade wanted to bring their core product into the future, Smart Design helped them jump from sports fuel to sports monitoring with the creation of the Gx Platform, a system that uses biometric data to help athletes monitor and personalize their hydration, and its newest offering, the Gx Sweat Patch.
Our ongoing work with Gatorade is accelerated by product principles that will ring true for any business hoping to move from product innovation to platform innovation.