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First in Thirst
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Librairie Eyrolles - Paris 5e

First in Thirst

First in Thirst

How to Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon

Darren Rovell - Collection Business

244 pages, parution le 19/09/2005


Before America even knew what "deep-down body thirst" was, four University of Florida scientists had invented something to quench it.

Remember the Cola Wars, with Coke and Pepsi battling it out year after year for supremacy in the soft drink market? Or what about the Burger Wars, the legendary slugfests between McDonald's and Burger King?

Then of course, there were the Sports Drink Wars. If you blinked, you might have missed them, because Gatorade has swiftly and decisively fended off every would-be rival. Although a few other brands hold slim market shares, the fact is that Gatorade single-handedly created the sports drink industry 40 years ago and has absolutely ruled it ever since.

But Gatorade is more than just a triumph of branding. First, it's a trusted product that has been scientifically proven to do what it claims to do.

Second, Gatorade is an enthralling story, brought to life in bright color and sharp detail in First in Thirst. Author Darren Rovell, a skilled, objective, and passionate journalist, chronicles every astonishing milestone of the company's history.

With unprecedented access to the inventors, the marketers, the analysts and observers, and key company figures past and present, Rovell recounts the sweat-drenched University of Florida football practices, the first (unpalatable) prototypes, and the commercial and financial interest that quickly took hold following the drink's first on-field successes. Then came the advertising, sponsorships, product placements (many of them fortuitous), and finally the two milestones that cemented Gatorade's iconic status once and for all-the ubiquitous Gatorade bath and the Michael Jordan "Be Like Mike" endorsement deal.

With refreshing candor, First in Thirst also offers an inside look at the negotiations, battles, lawsuits, mergers and acquisitions, product strategies, lucky breaks, and even the missteps (there have not been many) that have attended Gatorade's reign as the 800-pound gorilla of the sports-drink scene. Rovell places the reader inside labs and brainstorming sessions, at board meetings and ad shoots, on the sidelines and in the dugouts, even in the winner's circle at NASCAR events-where Gatorade manages maximum exposure even at tracks whose official sponsors include chief rival POWERade.

The book identifies the nine Gatorade Rules, business principles that have helped Gatorade become one of the most dominant brands ever. By adhering to these principles, businesses in other industries may achieve greater brand recognition and market share.

Long before America knew what "deep-down body thirst" was, a team of university scientists had already invented something to quench it. First in Thirst is the story of the product and the company, and of America's fascination with the one and only Gatorade.

L'auteur - Darren Rovell

Daren Rovell is the sports business reporter for ESPN.com. He appears on numerous ESPN radio affiliate shows, analyzes the sports business world for ESPNEWS, and contributes to ESPN's flagship SportsCenter and its investigative show Outside the Box. In 2004, he won the distinction of being named in NewsBios's "30 Under 30," a list of the top 30 national business reporters under the age of 30.

Before he knew anything about the business side of sports, way back when he was a seventh grader on the Roslyn Middle School cross-country team, Rovell thought that every team with any shot at winning had his favorite drink-the "Drink of Champions"-on the sidelines. "I knew it wasn't in the official rules," he recalls, "but I thought that every team just understood that Gatorade was the 10th batter in Major League Baseball, the 12th man on an NFL offense, and the 13th man on an NBA bench."

Even after he realized that he wasn't exactly track and field superstar material, Rovell remained a fan of the yellow, red, and orange concoction that was guzzled by all the athletes he admired. As an eight grader, the official theme song among his clique was "Be Like Mike," the Gatorade jingle featuring Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan. The closest he got was Evanston, Illinois, where he graduated cum laude from Northwestern University. As he learned more about business, he started to understand that Gatorade's omnipresence in the sports world-from the NFL to NASCAR-was part of a precision-targeted strategy. And the more he became fascinated by the history, the science, and the brilliant marketing behind the brand. Eventually, it led him to write the first and definitive book on the subject, FIRST IN THIRST: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon (AMACOM).

Since 1988, Darren Rovell has consumed thousands of 16-ounce bottles of Gatorade. During his running of the 2004 New York Marathon, he drank a record 38 cups of it.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Sweat In A Bottle
  • The Mystique Is Born
  • From Field To Shelves
  • Wrestling Over Gatorade
  • The "Tipping" Point
  • "Be Like Mike"
  • "We're Going To War"
  • The Gatorade Rules
  • Gatorade Critics
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix A
  • Appendix B
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About The Author
Voir tout

Caractéristiques techniques

Éditeur(s) Amacom
Auteur(s) Darren Rovell
Collection Business
Parution 19/09/2005
Nb. de pages 244
Format 15,5 x 23,5
Couverture Relié
Poids 513g
Intérieur Noir et Blanc
EAN13 9780814472996
ISBN13 978-0-8144-7299-6

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