April 22, 2008
CHICAGO -- The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo, announced today a new relationship with Candace Parker of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, her first endorsement as a professional athlete. The deal links the most exciting young female athlete in years to a dynamic brand known for fueling and inspiring athletes -- male and female -- to perform at their best. Parker joins an unparalleled roster of female athletes that includes soccer legend Mia Hamm, tennis star Maria Sharapova, U.S. Women's National Soccer Team player and Olympian Abby Wambach, and AVP player and Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh.
"It's only fitting for me to announce Gatorade as my first partner as I begin my professional basketball career because they have been part of my life since the day I first picked up a basketball," said Parker. "It still means a lot to me that in high school I was honored as a two-time Gatorade High School Basketball Player of the Year and as a college athlete at the University of Tennessee, Gatorade was always on the sidelines."
Parker, the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, is a two-time Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year (2003 and 2004) and the 2004 Gatorade High School Female Athlete of the Year, which honors the best male and female athlete across multiple high school sports. The University of Tennessee standout also led the Volunteers to back-to-back national championships the past two seasons.
"At Gatorade, we've known Candace for many years and not only has she become one of the best female basketball players in the world, but she remains a tremendous person who regularly demonstrates exemplary class and character on and off the court," said Scott Paddock, Gatorade director of sports marketing. "Our decision to include Candace among the select group of world class Gatorade athletes was an easy one and we are extremely excited, as is much of the country, to witness Candace's professional debut."
In addition to Hamm, Sharapova, Wambach and Walsh, Parker joins superstar athletes Michael Jordan (basketball legend), Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts), Eli Manning (New York Giants), Derek Jeter (New York Yankees), Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics), Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Kevin Durant (Seattle SuperSonics), Matt Kenseth (NASCAR driver), Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR driver), Sydney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Kristine Lilly (U.S. Women's National Soccer Team), Misty May (AVP player and Olympic gold medalist) and Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) among others in the Gatorade athlete family.
The multi-year deal was completed by Scott Paddock, Gatorade Director of Sports Marketing and Eric Goodwin, President of Goodwin Sports Management.
(Source: The Gatorade Company)
In addition to the Gatorade deal, the Associated Press reported Tuesday that Parker signed a multiyear deal with Adidas. Adidas declined to disclose the value of the deal.
Adidas declined to disclose the value of the deal. Parker's agent was not immediately available.