Sports Drink Wars Continue to Heat Up

Sports Drink Wars Continue to Heat Up

Sports drink and supplement company X2 Performance raised $16 million in Series D funding. The round included star NFL running back Saquon Barkley and L Catterton, a private equity firm backed by LVMH.

Barkley joins NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard, NFL linebacker Lavonte David, and ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter as stakeholders. 

“It’s a different value proposition than anything on the market, in terms that it enhances endurance naturally,” ESPN Insider and X2 board member Mike Tannenbaum told Front Office Sports.

Prior to the latest round, X2 had raised $29 million, according to PitchBook. 

The sports drink market is expected to reach $32.1 billion by 2026 and plenty of stars are backing brands.

  • Last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo joined NFL player Aaron Donald as part owner of Ready Nutrition. 
  • NBA star Luka Dončić signed a multiyear deal with BioSteel in March. The company is also endorsed by Patrick Mahomes.
  • NFL rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence inked a multiyear deal with Gatorade in April.

It will take a lot for new brands to break through. Gatorade holds a 72.1% market share of retail sales within the U.S. sports drink industry, per Euromonitor.

Coca-Cola’s Powerade ranks second with a 16.1% share.


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