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Sprite is reviving its historic partnerships with hip-hop and basketball stars in order to create a cohesive brand identity. With the shift of its creative business in the U.S. to a new agency for the third time in four years, the brand is focusing on what matters most to its audiences when they “obey their thirst.” 

Sprite is proving its potential by creating authentic campaigns that are relevant to—and successful with—a young target audience, devoted to music and sports culture. The brand is strengthening its historic relationship with hip-hop artists and celebrating its place as one of the first mainstream brands to acknowledge the genre’s social and political impact. Sprite’s #ObeyYourVerse campaign highlights inspirational lyrics from talent like Drake, Nas, Rakim, and the late Notorious B.I.G., which are printed across Sprite cans.

Sprite is also working to nurture its longer-term partnerships in the world of basketball. In 2014, LeBron James teamed up with Sprite to create Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James, and the limited-edition flavor returned for a time this summer as Sprite LeBron’s Mix. The brand’s collaboration with LeBron has allowed it to create experiences that no other brand can offer. Building on the success of that partnership, Sprite is finding even more creative ways to leverage its association with the basketball star, which include the new Nike LeBron Zoom Soldier 9 “Sprite” sneakers. The shoes, which feature the brand’s standard green, blue, and white coloring, are designed to turn the heads of basketball fans, shoe enthusiasts, and lovers of the classic Sprite drink.

While Sprite is forging ahead with cohesion and clarity, some consumers are pushing back—more and more people are cutting soda out of their diets in an effort to improve their health. The backlash is creating a struggle for the entire industry, including Sprite’s parent company, Coca-Cola, causing a decline in soda consumption for the 10th year in a row. Sprite, however, forges ahead with health-conscious releases like its no-calorie Sprite Zero and its smaller-sized mini cans. The classic beverage brand continues to appeal to individuals’ tastes, through music, style, creativity, and the pursuit of self-expression.

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