Nineteen-year-old athlete Neeraj Chopra has been signed on by American sports beverage manufacturer Gatorade as a brand ambassador on a four-year contract going up to 2021.
Chopra, who holds the junior world record in javelin throw, joins the likes of PV Sindhu, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi and Serena Williams among athletes endorsed by the company, which comes under PepsiCo’s umbrella.
Chopra and Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu are the only Indian athletes endorsed by PepsiCo India – both under Gatorade. “The move is a reiteration of Gatorade India’s commitment to encourage upcoming athletes and partner with them on their athletic journey by helping them improve performance by delivering proper hydration and nutrition,” the company said in a press release.
Chopra will also get to visit the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Illinois, United States, during the period of the partnership to work on his training and match-day nutrition requirements.
“This will help Neeraj from a performance perspective, as he will get to work with their sports science specialists,” said Mustafa Ghouse, CEO of JSW Sports, which supports Chopra. “If you look at their roster of athletes and the teams that they work with, there’s so much more from a value-add perspective that they bring to the table,” he added.
Incidentally, the announcement of Chopra’s signing comes just over a month after India cricket captain Virat Kohli decided not to renew his contract with PepsiCo after earlier hinting that he does not want to endorse any product that he himself would not consume because of health reasons. Kohli endorsed Pepsi cola for six years prior to the break-up in September this year.
“We are delighted to welcome Neeraj Chopra into the PepsiCo India family,” said Vipul Prakash, Senior Vice President of the company’s beverage category. “We believe that Gatorade is the perfect fuel for him as he embarks on his journey towards gold.”