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Amateur athletes take a sweat test

Custom-designed vending machines reward amateur athletes with free drink

Gatorade is urging amateur athletes to give it their all with “The Sweat Machine.” The custom-designed vending machine equipped with touch sensors that measure a person’s heart rate and biometrics to determine how much they’re sweating, dispenses a free Gatorade to individuals that work out the hardest. For those who haven’t done enough, the machine suggests they work harder; do 20 burpees or 10 push-ups to earn a complimentary beverage. Long associated with professional athletes competing at the highest levels of their sport, the effort developed by Gatroade’s creative agency TBWA Toronto, is the brand’s way of targeting the everyday athlete, said Mark Pileggi, the agency’s director of strategy and operations. This shift in strategy began in December, when Gatorade and TBWA set up a contest pitting all-star NHL players like Sidney Crosby against members of Canada’s 2014 Sochi Paralympic team in a sledge hockey game. Gatorade filmed the event and turned it into a short documentary. “In the past, we’ve really focused on highlighting superstars and using them to build the credibility of the product,” said Pileggi. “We’re still doing that, but at the same time, we’re doing more of these grassroots initiatives that help get the product into the everyday athletes’ hands, while still promoting the message that you have to replace what you sweat out.” A YouTube video titled “Gatorade-Sweat Machine” shows the machine in action at Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park, Ashbridges Bay and Metro Square. The machine lured in dozens of curious passersby, and while most passed the sweat test, the ones that didn’t still walked away amused. “I think people really enjoyed working out with our brand ambassadors, getting their heart rate up, and even people that got turned down and walked away were still like ‘that’s pretty cool,’” said Andrew Harris, account supervisor at TBWA Toronto. “They didn’t get the product, but they liked the experience.” “The Sweat Machine” is being supported via digital ads and on social media using #keepsweating. A TV spot, which will focus on the importance of rehydration, is slated to launch in the next few weeks. Throughout the summer, “The Sweat Machine” will be making appearances at several sporting events, with the focus primarily on those that attract amateur athletes, like Tough Mudder and the Warrior Dash. The effort will wrap up at the end of August. This article first appeared on

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