Salt Wars

by Ryan

I think it’s safe to say that the first Salt War is over. The second one, however, is just beginning.

For those of you that don’t get the joke, electrolytes are basically made when you mix salt with water. Man, Gatorade better get a patent on that or something.

Until I read the article I wasn’t aware Enlyten was a local company. Turns out the company’s President is Jim Kelly’s brother. That explains why he’s listed in the athletes section, as well as the initial contract with the Bills.

Just out of curiosity, I checked a few programs from this year to see what exactly happened. The ad in question is here, and has been in every program handed out at home games. The ad is actually right next to a Gatorade ad in both preseason programs. Clearly that giant vat of saltwater is in direct competition with the salt strips in that shot.

However, the program handed out at the Dallas game in question was much different. The ad was still there, but gone was the Bills logo and “Official Sponsor” spot. Again, here it is up close. It may not seem like much, but that’s a $100,000+ logo exclusion there, and to a “seven person company” it may mean life or death.

It may just be my love of Jim Kelly, or maybe because I prefer Powerade, but I hope Enlyten makes some noise and gets their contract back. I’m no legal expert, but I think it’s pretty ridiculous a giant corporation like Pepsi feels threatened by a few strips of orange salt. I understand Gatorade has an established contract with the NFL and that can’t be violated in any way, but it seems a bit of a stretch to snuff out a small enterprise like this out of spite.

This whole issue has me all revved up about my idea for an electrolyte replenishing drink: Blime. Blime is a black cherry lime sports drink made from a plant found deep within the depths of Senegal. Sold in a plastic flask, it would be easy to carry and a big hit with the kids. Unfortunately, Powerade released something strikingly similar before Blime left the planning phase.

Unfortunately my coffers aren’t as big as most, and I don’t have the means to file a lawsuit. However, below is a taste of what could have been.

Update: Here is the official complaint document filed by Enlyten. Also, some expert analysis here and here. (Thanks to anon in the comments)

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    It’s even worse. Gatorade seems to have gotten themselves into a real legal dilemna. You should and can read Enlyten’s Complaint filed in NY Supreme Court at:

    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/777516/000101968707003677/healthsport_ex9901.txt

    And you can read CNBC’s sports reporter and expert on Gatorade (Darren Rovell) blogs on this at the 2 following links:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/21147333

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/21561104

  2. RJ

    Thanks for the tip, anon. I know I joke around about Blime in the post, but I really am interested to see how this all turns out.

    Based on that document I think Enylten has a real case against Pepsi Co. and Gatorade. Not only did they kill their NFL deals, but also tampered with negotiations with Duke.

    Pretty low for a monster company like that.

  3. Brian

    Did you now that you can now purchase Enlyten Strips Direct?

    Click to Enlyten

    Thanks,
    Brian Fitzgerald
    http://www.enlyten1.com

  4. Dave

    If you have ever tried Enlyten Strips, you know that Enlyten has the edge in the Gatorade vs Enlytenbattle. Enlyten is all the good stuff without the need to pee all the time and the weight of excess liquids weighing you down.

    I get my enlyten at http://allstrips.com/store.

    And I read Enlyten News at http://allstrips.com.