The Denver Post 06/25/2015 - By Tierra Smith: Developer of "Body For Life" fitness and nutrition program Bill Phillips takes expertise to Denver supplement maker MusclePharm (MSLP)
At 50, Bill Phillips can still bench press 300 pounds and run a mile in eight minutes. But his biggest push now will be for MusclePharm Corp.
Once you get few strands of grey hair, you can drop a dime or two, he joked.
Last week, Phillips was named strategic adviser and chief editor for Denver-based MusclePharm. He will develop a selling model for products that target people over 40, a new segment for the company that produces sports nutrition products, including supplements, bars and energy drinks.
A native of Golden, Phillips is known as as a pioneer of the bodybuilding and fitness industry and the godfather of modern sports supplementation. He said joining MusclePharm was "an opportunity for me to help a Colorado company succeed."
Phillips was CEO of EAS Performance Nutrition, then based in Golden, until he sold controlling interest to North Castle Partners in 1999 for $160 million. He retained about a third of EAS and remained on the board until cashing out in 2004, just before the company sold to Abbott Laboratories for $320 million.
MusclePharm founder and CEO Brad Pyatt called Phillips one of the "most creditable voices in fitness coupled with expertise in science-based nutritional products business."
"We will broaden our base to many more consumers who want to get into shape," said Pyatt, who added that Phillips has been a mentor since the company started in 2010.
Phillips said he joined MusclePharm because he believes in its mission to "bring out (customers') inner-athlete and be a partner in their journey to live happier and healthier lives."
While industry observer Steven Hoffman said Phillips brings a "celebrity statue to the brand," MusclePharm already has had several big-name ambassadors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and former Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker.
Hoffman, who has 30 years of experience in the natural and organic industry, said Phillips' knack for leveraging his audience to follow him is the difference.
"(Phillips) knows how to market and sell products," said Hoffman, managing partner of the Boulder-based Compass Natural. "He understands how to market to the mass."
Last year, the supplement industry saw a 5.1 percent increase to $36.7 billion in revenue.
MusclePharm hopes to earn revenues of $150 million to $200 million this year or next, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. In 2013, sales were $111 million, a 67 percent increase over the pervious year.
MusclePharm's main focus will remain its products, but it also offers free fitness videos, nutritional plans, and educational and motivational materials on its website, which is scheduled to relaunch with the new material in July.
"We want to set a standard of fitness in Colorado," Phillips said.
Phillips is the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Body-for-Life," a book supporting his popular 12-week fitness and nutrition program that incorporates EAS products. The book has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. He also wrote other best sellers: "Eating for Life," "Body for Life Success Journal" and "Transformation."
MusclePharm, which hopes to hire 200 people in the next six months, in April launched two new ready-to-go energy drinks — MusclePharm Energy Sport and Energy Sport Zero . The company's products can be purchased in over 10,500 retailers and online.