Celsius, the rapidly ascending player in the energy drink sector, has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity, bolstered by its strategic alliance with beverage giant PepsiCo, which injected a substantial $550 million investment in August 2022. While industry heavyweights Red Bull and Monster continue to command around 70% of the energy drink market, Celsius Holdings has made significant strides, now claiming nearly 10% of the market share.
The PepsiCo investment not only facilitated Celsius' expanded distribution in major retailers and independent stores but also provided the impetus for the company's foray into the realm of sports. The CEO of Celsius, John Fieldly, expressed enthusiasm about the brand's diversification into sports, aligning seamlessly with the health-conscious consumer in the sports world. Fieldly remarked, "It's a big vertical for us, and we're going to continue to build upon that."
As a self-proclaimed "better for you" energy drink, Celsius has become a prominent figure in the fitness community, experiencing remarkable growth from a $280 million valuation in April 2018, when Fieldly assumed the role of CEO, to an impressive $13.4 billion today, according to GQ.
The brand has strategically positioned itself across a diverse array of sports properties, securing partnerships with entities such as Formula 1, Major League Soccer, Professional Fighters League, P1 Offshore boat racing, pickleball, and downhill skiing. Celsius has also formed alliances with prominent athletes including Jake Paul, Dustin Poirier, and Shaun White, along with sponsorships of Inter Miami FC and Scuderia Ferrari. The brand's footprint extends to activations with NBA teams such as the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, as well as the NHL's Florida Panthers.
Celsius has not limited its expansion to professional sports alone. In August, the brand announced a partnership with Learfield, an intercollegiate athletics marketing company, to deepen its presence on college campuses, including schools such as the University of Oregon, University of Colorado Boulder, United States Air Force Academy, and University of Washington.
With a target demographic of 18-24, Celsius is exploring various sports verticals that align with its overall strategy. The brand's increased distribution, facilitated by the PepsiCo investment, has fueled its expansion into soccer, evident in its league-wide deal with MLS and team partnerships with Inter Miami FC, Chicago Fire FC, and New York City FC.
Despite the fiercely competitive energy drink market dominated by Red Bull and Monster, Celsius remains confident in its unique blend of essential energy, key vitamins, and strategic sports sponsorships as the winning formula for success. Fieldly highlighted, "There hasn't been a brand in the last decade to reach a 10% share in the energy drink category except for Celsius, which just achieved that."