GSK is splashing out £9m on a marketing push for Lucozade Sport - after a £15m spend in 2012 failed to stem declining sales.

The Last Man Standing campaign kicks off today (5 January) with an ad on ITV1 during FA Cup matches that introduces the new scientific claim that ‘Lucozade Sport hydrates and fuels you better than water’.

The ad dramatises actual scientific tests and depicts 24 athletes - half fuelled by Lucozade Sport and half by water - who run until only participants on the Lucozade Sport team are left.

While sales of Lucozade Energy have risen 6.5% in value year-on-year, Lucozade Sport has fallen 5.2% in an overall sports & energy drink market up 8.5% [Nielsen 52 w/e 13 October 2012].

The decline is steeper than the 1.9% drop recorded a year ago, when GSK announced a £15m relaunch. The performance had been disappointing, admitted brand director Simon Freedman, but he insisted GSK was committed to growing the sports drink category.

“We have extensively researched our consumers to better understand what is holding back growth,” he said. “We plan to engage consumers by talking to them about the fact that sports drinks are relevant to them and can help them get the best out of their sport - whether that’s a run in the park or a game of football on a Saturday afternoon.”

The brand was engaging with consumers at a grass roots level through initiatives such as Parkrun 5km runs and Powerleague five-a-side football, he added.