How would you like to turn back the clock and play your big rivals one more time?
In the name of team, community, fitness and product placement two rivals from Pennsylvania got that opportunity in late April.
Easton and Phillipsburg have played an annual grudge match every Thanksgiving day since 1905. In the 1993 match-up a heavily favored Easton team could not pull out a win, but also did not lose in a game that ended 7-7.
The sister kissers from both squads were given a second chance to decide a winner in a promotion that Gatorade is calling "Replay."
The towns bought into the rivalry replay right away, the game sold out, with 10,000 tickets going in less than 90 minutes. The players bought in as well, with age ranges from 32-34 over 30 players from each team bought into a training program to get ready for the game. All told many of the players lost 30 pounds or more with one player dropping a cool 60, in two months!
In the game itself Phillipsburg took out Easton 27-12. They took advantage of having what was probably the two most in shape and athletic guys on the field, in receivers Joe Luke and Mike Lelko who combined to catch all 15 passes and run 9 of the 17 rushing attempts.
The aforementioned Gatorade is the sponsor that made it all possible and you can watch a recap of the game and the training on their website.
Of course this all wouldn't have happened without a sponsor and overall Gatorade did a nice job with the product placement, it was frequent and there was a lot of slow motion Gatorade squirting but it definitely not in your face. Granted, some stuff was a bit over the top, like the doctor in the video clip saying that Gatorade can help prevent heart attacks.
I think their big misstep however, was having Eli and Payton Manning be the honorary coaches of both teams. Fresh off their latest commercial appearances in the Oreo Double Stuff Licking League, the Mannings kind of seemed out of place. Especially with the bonds that both teams had with their coaches, which is reminiscent of the relationships across the country on Friday nights.
However, overall I think the event was a success. One they are going to try to recreate. You can nominate your teams on the MissionG website and discuss it here on our message board.