DC Sports Day

Old Dominion, James Madison Among Schools With New National Brand Partnership


The college athletics calendar for many schools this spring will be as crowded as ever, as many fall sports put on hold because of The Pandemic have migrated to the spring. With such a crowded calendar the need for smart partnerships on the health and wellness side has never been more important, and several area schools in conferences like The Big South, the CAA and Conference USA are bringing on a new partner to help them stay healthy and hydrated.

The company is Ready Nutrition, which launched its own sports drink a few weeks ago and keep growing under the leadership of former Pitt athlete Pat Cavanuagh and his elite partners like Aaron Donald and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Ready scored a college coup this week by bringing on 90 new mid-major schools across the country, taking over as their exclusive hydration provider at each conference championship for all sports and will also enjoy a platform to share their “Effort, Attitude and Energy” story with the athletes.

The conferences making the switch include:  the America East Conference, the Big South Conference, the Big West Conference, the CAA, Conference USA, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Southland Conference and the West Coast Conference, with more expansion coming in the fall.

“Today’s athletes are demanding cleaner functional sports nutrition products that work to provide energy, hydration and help their bodies defend against the stresses of training and competition.” said Ready® Chief Science Officer, Dr. Kim Beals, PhD, RD, CSSD.  “Our Sports Drink uses a superfruit carb source for energy, a triple electrolyte blend for optimal hydration and plant nutrients to help with exercise recovery.”

“We are excited to be a part of the Ready Nutrition family,” Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod added in a statement. “Together we are able to assist our student-athletes in the pursuit of their goals through best practices in sports nutrition at our championship events. Our continued partnership with a brand that values attitude and effort is a great opportunity for our league.”

Ready’s growth has included massive partnerships with the AAU on the grassroots level and a large push into retail locations for all their products. Getting student-athletes at the table now increases the marketing opportunities and also toes to a key demo which anyone in the space wants and grabbing that geographic area not just in the Northeast but at colleges across the country who are looking to carve out their own competitive position, makes great sense. The volume of schools, and their disruptive position in the landscape, fits Ready’s ethos, and seems primed for brand growth on the NCAA level for all involved.

Parents and boosters, as you make it to games this spring, from football to baseball to women’s lacrosse, take note of the new kid on the block. You better be “ready.”