After just six seasons, A’ja Wilson has cemented her case as one of the greatest players to suit up in the WNBA. A two-time WNBA MVP, WNBA Champion and Defensive Player of the Year, her list of accolades also includes being a New York Times Best Selling author. With the Aces on the verge of making history this season (again) as they look to claim their third-straight WNBA Championship, Wilson can already envision what her celebratory moment would potentially look like. And it starts with Gatorade. 

Remember those old black-and-white posters of MJ with his sweat highlighted in Gatorade colors? A’ja is running it back as the new face of the brand, as Gatorade has officially announced that A’ja Wilson has become the latest member of their elite athlete roster. 

“It was huge. I think honestly, it probably hit me when I was at [the] Super Bowl and I did the Gatorade ID activation station,” Wilson told WSLAM of her recent partnership. “It was pretty cool to just see it all come together. I think that’s when it really hit me like, oh no, you’re a Gatorade athlete. You’re amongst the GOATs of people in their respective fields and now I have a name in that. It’s just been a fun, fun ride. I think it’s finally starting to hit me now that I’m starting to see it more and be a part of it.”

Take a still photo from the Finals, wipe out all the hues and highlight a few beads of sweat with strictly orange, of course. Then toss the iconic Gatorade towel across her shoulders. “And instead of champagne, probably just Gatorade bottles because if we go for a three-peat, Gatorade will be my chaser at this point,” Wilson says with a laugh. “So yeah, definitely instead of champagne bottles, maybe some Gatorade bottles and the sweat, just lit.” 

While the brand’s Fruit Punch + Berry flavor has become a frequent staple in the Aces locker room, Wilson’s day one has always been the Orange flavor. From AAU tournaments to playoff press conferences, Orange Gatorade has always been part of her journey. 

“That’s why I was so geeked when I got it [the Gatorade deal] because I’m like, I’ve been drinking this forever. Orange Gatorade will forever be my life. I love that, I love that flavor, it’s No. 1 for me. It really dates back to the high school days.” 

A partnership as authentic as this is rare air. A’ja is the exact consumer that Gatorade has spent decades building its brand around and for. After growing up in awe of Michael Jordan’s commercials featuring glass and canned Gatorade containers, Wilson is now leading the charge for the next generation of tastemakers, just as she has across women’s basketball for years. Her connection to the brand goes back to her days dominating in high school at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, A’ja Wilson has been obsessed with Gatorade. A collection of tweets dating back as far as 2012 paints a pretty clear picture, one that truly represents the passion Wilson lives with on and off the hardwood. 

“#Favoritesnackinthewholewideworld pretzels, a rice crispy treat and an orange Gatorade #heaven #love”. – March 2013.

“Dear gas station, how do you run out of Orange Gatorade?” – June 2012. 

“#100thingsaboutme orange Gatorade is my SHIT!” – July 2012. 

Growing up, Gatorade was Wilson’s go-to bev for every random snack and meal. Not only was the flavor “top tier,” but the brand’s grasp on marketing toward athletes struck a chord with Wilson at an impressionable age. 

“I would be so mad going to restaurants with my parents because they didn’t have Gatorade. I’m just like, what else is there to drink? What am I supposed to drink? Because I felt like that is what fueled great athletes,” Wilson tells SLAM. “It felt like that’s what was pumping in MJ’s veins. It was like, no, I need that in my system.”  

And now, the former 2013-14 Gatorade State Player of the Year will be continuing her legacy alongside the brand that has always been there throughout her journey. 

“This is what you worked so hard for. This is what you wanted to go after. You wanted this. You wanted to be a part of this family because that’s all you knew,” Wilson says as she reflects on what her 18-year-old self would think now. “That’s what fuels greatness. Winning the award, it was cool, it was great, but now you’ve even grown in that case. Like, yeah, you’ve grown on-court but you’ve even grown with the brand. It’s been truly fun just to be a part of it. Even though it’s just the beginning, the best is yet to come.”

Photos via Gatorade.


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