Archive for the ‘Brasil’ tag

Gatorade: The Unreal Final Journey Around the World

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Barca_CoverPhoto credit: Luiza Iacava

*Note: the use of the word “football is used throughout this post, in reference to what Americans call “soccer,” and we are sticking to the global term since well … you see the title, don’t you?

As you may remember, on May 26 and May 31 at Emirates Stadium in London and Sinatra Park in Hoboken, NJ, respectively, MKTG INC gave an unreal experience to 240 local athletes (http://blg.mktg.com/2014/05/the-real-work-of-gatorade/) to build excitement around the UAW online contest.

The winners were finally announced in June, and we took them on the football trip of a lifetime. Our fabulous winners represented the United States, Canada, England and Brazil. As we got to know them and their guests over our 17-day trip, we all became a second family.

And now … the details!

Bradenton, Florida – Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) at IMG Academy (July 28 – 30)

GSSI_01Photo credit: Mariusz Kaczmarek

The boys received full fitness testing, including physical and psychological, with the experts at GSSI. A full report was given to them on their last day, along with the recommended Gatorade formula for them to use moving forward while sweating on the pitch. Of course, all that hard work had to be rewarded, so we had a special guest come and work out with our winners on the last day – none other than USMNT player Graham Zusi!

GSSI_02Photo credit: Eric Nalpas

Graham competed with the boys in a “crossbar challenge” to finish off the session. Our Canadian representative won, and got to keep Graham’s boots!

Liverpool, England – Liverpool FC (July 30 – August 1)

Jetlag be damned! After about a day’s rest, the boys suited up and made it over to Anfield for a full tour of the stadium, taking in some facts about Liverpool FC’s history and hearing insider stories from LFC legend Jason McAteer.

After a quick lunch, we scooted over to Melwood, the official training ground of Liverpool. The Junior U16 coaches ran a highly individualized training session for our winners, with specific instruction on spatial awareness on the pitch. Let me say that again, we were at Liverpool! Training with the pros! You could almost hear the opening chords of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” ….

Liverpool_02Photo credit: Mark Waugh

London, England – Arsenal FC (August 2 – 4)

The express train from Liverpool was smooth and luxurious (well, compared to the LIRR), and two hours later we were in London, heading straight for Emirates Stadium. The Emirates Cup was going on during our visit and the boys had VIP treatment with a tour of the facility and then access to a luxury suite to watch the matches. But don’t be fooled … London was not all relaxation.

The next morning we woke up to beautiful sunny skies and about 75° F (24° C) temperatures – the perfect morning for a football workout at Battersea Park! The Community Coaches from Arsenal met us and ran the session, focusing on overall fitness and one-on-one drills. We even got our client to join in on the workout, although as a former NFL wide receiver, he gave our winners no shot at the final sprint challenge.

London_01Photo credit: Felippe Imperatriz

Barcelona, Spain – FC Barcelona (August 4 – 5)

Barcelona was the favorite club among most of our winners, and you can imagine the excitement they felt as we pulled up to Camp On. The boys had the opportunity to train at La Masia with the Barcelona Youth Coach. Fully kitted up in their training attire, the winners were instructed in drills that were team-based with passing and moving as the center of the activity.

Barcelona_02Photo credit: Luiza Iacava

Milan, Italy – AC Milan (August 5 – 7)

At AC Milan’s training facility, better known as Milanello, we were welcomed with open arms. As soon as we walked in, we were offered an array of Gatorade beverages, biscuits and, of course, espresso.

After a full tour of the grounds and workout facilities, we were served lunch and then bid the boys off to do another set of fitness testing. Different from GSSI, these tests focused on reaction time, plyometrics and balance.

What better way to prepare for a 17-hour flight…

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Boca Juniors (August 8 – 9)

Our last day in Buenos Aires had us training with the Boca Juniors B-Team coach. It was a fantastic session; the boys had the freedom to play some small-sided games against each other with some of the guests joining in.

BA_02Photo credit: Federico Peretti

Rio de Janeiro – Brasil (August 9 – 12)

The final send-off! We had to show these boys we know how to celebrate football!

The first day took us to Maracanã for a Flamengo match, which was high-intensity the whole way through. The crowd and the chants did not stop.Finally, the next day we were off to Granja Comary, the home of CBF.

Rio_03_MarPhoto Credit: Derek Mangabeira

Our friends in Brazil had a surprise in store for us; they brought in a local Nike academy to have a full-sided match! This is the first time we had the opportunity to play 11 v 11 on the pitch; a real treat, especially since we were again able to involve our guests.

Rio_05_MatchPhoto Credit: Derek Mangabeira

On our last day, we wanted to show the boys local beach culture. Gatorade provided their local experts in the sport of futevôlei, and they ran through a full workout and tutorial. The winners picked it up immediately, and practically owned Copacabana Beach…well, their attitudes said they did anyway ;-)

Overall, it was such an honor to work with Gatorade on such a special project, and communicate the message of putting in real work for an unreal performance. Thanks to everyone who made this program such a success, from the Gatorade clients to the contest champions to all the MKTGers around the globe! Just a reminder to #makeitunreal every day, no matter what you do.

RIo_Final_JumpPhoto credit: Derek Mangabeira

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