By: Sean Crose
In a sign that rising star Ryan Garcia has crossover potential, the undefeated 22 year old has signed a deal with Gatorade, making him the first boxer in history to professionally endorse the famous beverage. Garcia can now include corporate spokesperson to a resume that includes 21-0 lightweight and social media attraction. “We pride ourselves on fueling all types of athletes, and those who compete in combat sports, a world we’ve supported for many years, are no exception,” said Jeff Kearney, Gatorade global head of sports marketing. “Bringing Ryan on at the national level in the U.S. only strengthens that commitment, and it is a testament to his talent and work ethic.”
What this all means for Garcia, who is fresh off his impressive January win over Luke Campbell, is that his star continues to rise. “A few years ago, I posted on social and tagged Gatorade to get their attention, so being the first professional boxer to sign a national deal in the U.S. with them is a dream that turned into a reality,” Garcia said. “Gatorade has been studying and working with the best athletes in sports for decades, many of which I admire, and I’m excited to bring positive attention to the sport of boxing.”
Popular fighters have long made for good marketing. Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran both plugged 7-Up, while Marvin Hagler did an ads for Pizza Hut and Right Guard while Mike Tyson hawked Diet Pepsi. Those fighters, however, were all world champions when they figuratively stepped onto Madison Avenue. Garcia has only been fighting professionally for less than five years. What’s more, he has yet to win a major world title. The young man from Los Angeles has two things going for him, however: serious talent and a natural ability to market himself. As things stand, Garcia has nearly eight and a half million Instagram followers. No wonder marketers are interested.
Garcia has been making waves both in and out of the ring lately. Not only has he defeated impressive veteran Campbell, but there has also been serious talk that the lightweight will face Manny Pacquiao in the future. Should that fight come to fruition – and should it be more than an exhibition match – it will only serve to showcase the kind of boldness that has thus far proved so effective for Garcia’s ring record and public image. Provided he continues on with his winning ways , Garcia’s future should remain rather bright indeed.