March Doesn’t Start In March | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

March Doesn’t Start In March


The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best College Sports Partnership


Ahead of the NCAA Tournament, the ”official hydration partner of March Madness,” Powerade has launched a new TV campaign featuring two of college basketball’s brightest stars. The sports drink brand released an early look at their upcoming commercial—entitled ”March Doesn’t Start In March”—starring defending National Champion Flau’jae Johnson of LSU and freshman sensation Isaiah Collier of USC.

Both athletes partnered with Powerade in January and this is the brand’s first March Madness campaign to feature NIL athletes, which will air across national television, digital creative, out-of-home and social media. The spot will debut on Sunday, March 17 on CBS during the NCAA Selection Show.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

This collaboration between POWERADE and collegiate basketball stars sets new benchmarks in fan engagement by fusing the elements of sports, hydration, and brand advocacy into a compelling narrative. By integrating these athletes into national marketing campaigns and localized events, POWERADE creates a dynamic bridge between the brand and its target audience, fostering deeper emotional connections and brand loyalty. Moreover, by championing NIL partnerships with emerging talents, POWERADE not only elevates its brand visibility but also champions the empowerment of student-athletes, setting a progressive precedent for industry peers to follow.


The creation of this partnership between POWERADE and collegiate athletes Flau’Jae Johnson and Isaiah Collier was driven by a multifaceted objective. Firstly, it aimed to expand POWERADE’s reach within the collegiate sports market, tapping into the enthusiasm and influence of young, rising basketball stars. Secondly, it sought to enhance the brand's association with athleticism, performance, and hydration among the modern sports fan demographic. Lastly, it aimed to establish POWERADE as a key player in the evolving landscape of collegiate partnerships, showcasing its commitment to supporting and empowering young athletes.

Strategy & Execution

This entry was meticulously designed and implemented with the modern sports fan at its core. Recognizing the digital-first nature of today's sports enthusiasts, the partnership leveraged a multi-channel approach, encompassing national marketing campaigns, retail and sponsorship events, out-of-home (OOH) advertising, and robust digital and social media activations. By strategically aligning with influential college basketball players like Flau’Jae and Isaiah, POWERADE crafted content and experiences tailored to resonate with younger audiences, utilizing platforms and mediums where they actively engage and consume content.


  • Powerade
  • Greenwood Ave


  • Flau’jae Johnson
  • Isaiah Collier


Tom Gargiulo
BODYARMOR Sports Nutrition CMO

RJ Harris
Greenwood Ave

Tara Jackson
Director, Partnerships

Don Rouse
Head of Partnerships
BODYARMOR Sports Nutrition

Kristen Rumble
VP, Brand Strategy and Creative

Leah Macko
Sr. Brand Director

Lakia Brooks
Flauge Entertainment LLC

Ryan Boyd
Greenwood Ave

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.