Logan Paul and KSI’s lifestyle beverage brand is now the official sports drink of the UFC. Boardroom has all the details on the meteoric rise of Prime Hydration.
It’s Prime time.
What started as an unlikely partnership between a pair of YouTube-influencers-turned-boxers has flourished into the fastest-growing hydration company on the planet.
Little more than a year since launching, Logan Paul and KSI’s Prime Hydration is on its way to becoming a household name, driving a reported $250 million in retail sales last year, not to mention landing partnerships with some of the most prominent organizations in sport and retail. We’re talking about the UFC, Arsenal, GNC, and many more.
And in perhaps the surest sign of success, the up-and-coming brand also secured coveted commercial space during Super Bowl LVII.
So — not that you need any more proof of Prime’s growing popularity — let’s have a look at what’s led to the brand’s impressive trajectory since its launch in 2022.
The Origins of Prime Hydration
Before they were shaking hands, Paul and KSI were trading punches.
Prior to launching the beverage brand, the pair was most known for their trash talk and ensuing celebrity boxing matches. KSI claimed both the first amateur and professional fights between the two by unanimous decision, and Paul went on to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and headline Wrestlemania 38.
Their relationship continued outside of the ring, however, and a few short years later, a friendship was born. Prime Hydration soon followed.
In a June 2022 interview with British newspaper, The Mirror, Paul further explained that his partnership with KSI, whose real name is Olajide Olatunji, was deeper than just making money. Paul said even credits KSI with “saving his career.”
“I want to be able to say one day that KSI saved my career, but I made him a billionaire,” Paul said in the article.
But if you really want to know Prime’s story, the first sentence of the brand’s About Page says it all:
“We created PRIME to showcase what happens when rivals come together as brothers and business partners to fill the void where great taste meets function.”
It’s a classic storyline. Foes becoming friends for a common purpose. And the best part: Joining forces means they both get to bring their massive fan bases into the fold.
Talk about a marketer’s dream.
A Prime Marketing Strategy
Paul and KSI are big-time influencers who collectively boast a combined reach of nearly 100 million followers on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
That’s a great start.
With a growing audience firmly in place, the duo has propelled Prime the only way it knows how — by making headlines, pulling off viral stunts, and getting eyeballs on the brand. After all, both are masters of self-promotion — Paul in the U.S. and KSI in the UK.
This unique marketing approach has led to a sizable following for Prime in only its first year of existence.
Here’s where the brand’s social media following stands to date:
- Instagram: 1.4M followers
- Twitter: 341.5K followers
- Facebook: 8.2K followers / 6.2K likes
- TikTok: 202.5K followers
But while a strong following on social media is a win, Prime is also finding inroads with some of the biggest brands around.
Not only is Prime the “official hydration partner” of Premier League club Arsenal, it’s also a primary sponsor of MBM Motorsports in NASCAR, and just recently announced placement in over 2,000 GNC retail stores nationwide.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The recently announced multi-year partnership with the UFC has propelled Prime into the spotlight.
The global marketing partnership with the UFC means Prime will be prominently featured in all future live events. That means at weigh-ins and in the octagon itself, and all the social media content you can handle.
“We’re excited to name PRIME the Official Sports Drink of UFC and an official partner of the UFC Performance Institute,” UFC President Dana White said. “Logan and KSI have worked hard to build PRIME into the best-tasting, hottest sports drink on the market. With their massive social media following and UFC’s global reach, we’re going to get the PRIME brand in front of hundreds of millions of fans all over the world.”
The partnership is expected to open even more doors for the beverage company — the UFC boasts roughly 400 million social media followers worldwide, according to the announcement.
So what more could Paul and KSI look to accomplish with their young beverage brand?
In addition to placement at UFC 284 on Feb. 11 and future events, the brand is also making history with its Super Bowl commercial. Details of the spot are sparse, but the feat means Paul and KSI will become the first YouTube content creators to back a company with a commercial airing during the Super Bowl.
And the company’s product line is also expanding.
Having started out with the flagship Prime Hydration products (drinks and hydration sticks) that come in flavors ranging from Meta Moon to Orange and Ice Pop, Prime has since expanded with a line of energy drinks that come in flavors such as Mango, Orange Crush, and more. The products are in limited supply, either by design or due to demand.
Either way, the company is sustaining interest, causing consumers to wait in line for it in the UK when it comes back in stock and leading to chaos in the aisles in some cases.
And while some beverage experts aren’t convinced quite yet, others are a bit more bullish on the potential of Prime.
“It has been explosively popular in the US and UK, if they could only keep it in stock,” Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business Insights, said in The Drum.
But can it compete with Gatorade? Only time will tell.
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