Jeremy Fu


Gatorade

Gx Sweat Patch

We partnered with Gatorade to evaluate their newly launched Gx App and Sweat Patch, a digitally-enabled platform for all athletes to manage their performance, diet, and personal hydration needs.

My Role
  • Project Manager
  • Design Research
  • Design Strategy

Brief

My team was asked to gather feedback from Gatorade’s core user base on their experience with the Gx App and Sweat patch to inform Gatorade’s innovation pipeline. 

We created the following goals for our work based on the ask from Gatorade:

  1. Conduct user research to determine pain points of the current product and opportunity for new features that should be incorporated into the next iteration of the Gx system.
  2. Investigate other potential athletic wearable markets for the Gx platform 

  3. Explore ways to improve the Gx platform for collegiate athletic team
  4. Synthesize user research into actionable insights and storyline to drive innovation pipeline
Opportunity Space

The Gx App and Sweat Patch have greatly improved the convenience compared to traditional sweat testing options while maintaining clinical-grade accuracy. 

Gatorade believes sports fuel personalization is the next frontier of the industry. Gatorade has always believed in advancing sport through science. Research has proven the connection between personalized nutrition and performance. Technology and wearables will enable Gatorade to have a 1:1 relationship with athletes, Gx uses science-backed intelligence to change how athletes hydrate and fuel. 

Gx builds on Gatorade’s market-leading product line and differentiates from competitors by enabling users to understand their hydration and electrolyte needs through a combined product (Gx Patch, Gatorade drink) and service (Gx App) offering, appealing to the professional athlete but also to the average consumer.

Target User

The core competitive athlete is focused on getting a performance edge and supported by coaches, athletic trainers, and a performance team. 

The evolving competitive athlete is usually a collegiate athlete supported by a full performance team and might have access to sweat testing through their program.

The forever competitive athlete, who is goal oriented and wants to optimize their training plan for upcoming athletic events. 

After our initial round of interviews, we found that the patch is the most suitable for people with high levels of activity and are tech savvy. Therefore, we decided to focus our research on the evolving competitive athletes.

Hypotheses

User Base

  • Designed for athletes with high levels of activity
  • Evolving/collegiate athletes

Value Proposition

  • New technology
  • Fit into existing routines
  • Demonstrate value

Business Model

  • Partner with collegiate teams
  • Partner  with premium gyms
User Research

We split our interview plan into two rounds. 

Exploratory Interviews

Goal: gain an overall understanding of the market opportunity by talking to consumers about their health and fitness experiences.

Product-Market Fit

Goal: Gx App and Sweat Patch product testing, gathering their feedback on both the patch and the app in context of their fitness goals

Insights

During our user interviews, an opportunity emerged in collegiate athletics to support sports nutritionists in their education of athletes. 

Collegiate Athlete

75% indicated that they find the technology groundbreaking

57% were willing to purchase the product

18% gap indicates the chasm between excitement and willingness to purchase

I think that a lot of student athletes could use this. I like that it gave me an exact amount and what proteins I should consume
D1 Football Player
I would love for athletic programs to adopt the product. Then I can have access to it and integrate it into my routine
D1 Volleyball Player
Sports Nutritionist

A traditional sweat test costs more than 3x as much as a Gx sweat patch

Every collegiate athlete should complete a sweat test at least 3-4x per year

Most sports nutritionists meet with an athlete 2-3x a year

I see this growing like crazy in the college setting see it more over the next 2-3 years, especially for as affordable as it is
D1 Football Sports Nutritionist
Our experienced athletes know what they need to do, but our younger athletes need this. They do not have the skillset or experience yet
D1 Football Sports Nutritionist
Value Proposition
Collegiate Athlete
  • Competitive athletes who are interested in enhancing their performance
  • New to having a nutrition and hydration regimen
  • Benefit from specific daily recommendations
Specific

recommendations 

Reminders

before & after

Personalized

nutrition & hydration

Motivation

to keep on track

Sports Nutritionist
  • Sports Nutritionists aiming to provide athletes with cutting edge information about recovery
  • Have athletes who could benefit from daily support
  • Interested in learning which athletes have highest hydration needs
  • Track progress and statistics 
Value

in each test 

Convenient

fast & easy

Partner

in the process

Data

to assist athletes

Business Model

This value proposition can be applied in three categories: Collegiate Programs, Premium Gyms, and Virtual Fitness. 

We realized a nutritionist is only one type of influencer that might affect a customer’s decision to use the Gx system, and can be found as collegiate nutritionists to nutritionists at gyms.

We want to propose an expansion on Gatorade’s current strategy by partnering with collegiate teams and external gyms

By partnering with collegiate teams Gatorade can leverage their existing partnerships at D1 schools, becoming the daily insight partner of sports nutritionists. At the same time there is the opportunity to enter the DII and DIII and high school sports market to fill the sports nutrition gap in that segment. 

By entering into this partnership, Gx can increase awareness of their product, while solving a key pain point for athletic programs—helping new athletes understand and follow their nutrition and hydration plans despite only meeting 2-3 times with a sports nutritionist each year. 

Beyond collegiate programs we see the additional opportunity to partner gyms which have trainers or sports nutritionists in-house. Using this partnership model will help the casual athlete or an athlete training for a competition for the first time to understand where sweat testing fits into their routine and how a nutrition and hydration program can help them have a competitive edge. 

We see an additional opportunity to leverage the trends in virtual fitness and home fitness to better understand their athlete’s needs. For gyms and virtual fitness the Gx system will give nutritionists and trainers objective data to provide hyper-personalized, specific feedback in a community setting. 

Reflection
  • Learned to manage a team of 5 from a diversity of backgrounds and majors 
  • How to articulate a clear value proposition and business model driven by human-centered insights
  • Creating new value for an existing product
  • Client communication with the Gatorade team
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