During the first night of the 2023 NFL Draft, Gatorade will celebrate J.J. Watt's impact both on and off the field with a film titled, "Gatorade x JJ Watt: Real Impact."
In a tribute to the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year airing nationally Thursday night, Gatorade highlights Watt's incredible NFL career and contributions to the community. Watt, selected by Houston with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, went on to become the Texans all-time leader in sacks (101) and earned five First-Team All-Pro nods as defensive end.
"Being a Gatorade athlete has been a true highlight of my career since joining the family during my rookie season in 2011," Watt said. "The iconic brand has fueled me to not only perform at my best every gameday but has also elevated my platform to give back and inspire the next generation beyond the field."
Several clips within the film feature Watt helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts which earned him the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2017. Watt's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund raised over $37 million to help rebuild over 1,183 homes, 971 childcare centers and distribute over 238 million meals in the first two years.
Watt, a longtime Gatorade roster athlete, has been one of the brand's most inspirational athletes.
"J.J. Watt has been an integral part of our Gatorade family for over a decade and has always embodied our brand ethos centered in giving all athletes a chance to play sports," Jeff Kearney, Global Head of Sports Marketing at Gatorade said. "It's been a privilege to fuel his performance for 12 NFL seasons, but we're even prouder to have worked closely with him to make a tangible impact in the community for so many years. It's fitting that we celebrate JJ's legacy during the NFL Draft, where it all began for him, and where it will begin this week for the next generation."
Gatorade will donate $99,000 to the Justin J Watt Foundation in honor of his retirement and commitment to giving back.
The 2023 NFL Draft takes place April 27-29 in Kansas City.