Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gatorade Adds Durant to Athlete Lineup

The Gatorade Company announced today that Sonics rookie Kevin Durant is the newest member of the Gatorade family. Durant, the first NBA rookie ever signed by Gatorade, joins just three other active NBA players - Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett and Dwyane Wade - in the small, elite group of Gatorade athletes.

To announce the new deal, Durant conducted several interviews from the media room at KeyArena - most by satellite with TV stations including FSN Northwest, ESPNews and MSNBC, but also one via text message with Hoop Magazine that gave his thumbs a workout. "This is hard," Durant sighed while answering.

When he chatted with Sonics beat writers at the end of the day, Durant proved a quick study as an endorser. "It's going to be a long season," he said, "but you know what's going to keep me going? Gatorade."

Any basketball fan, especially those who grew up in the 1990s, instantly connects Gatorade to Michael Jordan and his series of "Like Mike" commercials for Gatorade. Durant, who also cited the Gatorade "is it in you?" and Gatorade Rain commercials as some of his favorites, remembers those spots well.

"They had some great commercials (with Jordan)," he said. "They made songs for them and everything. Hopefully one of these days I can get a commercial like that. His commercials, everybody remembers that. What can I say? Gatorade makes some great commercials."

A Durant Gatorade commercial is in the works for some point in the not-too-distant future.

In Durant's immediate future: His 19th birthday, which he'll celebrate on Saturday. Durant's dad is coming into town (his mother and two cousins are living with him here in Seattle, while his grandmother is staying for the next few weeks) to celebrate. Also planned: Durant will throw out the first pitch at Saturday's Mariners game.

"I'm scared. I don't know if I'm going to be able to do it. I've played baseball before, but that's a long ways."