Olivier Colombo - Consultant & Corporate Advisor
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MusclePharm (MSLP)

Stack3D: MusclePharm Natural Series launches with 2 of its 5 supplements

Stack3D: MusclePharm Natural Series launches with 2 of its 5 supplements:

After a lot of information releases here and there, then eventually detailed looks at each of the supplements, MusclePharm’s Natural Series has finally started rolling out. The entire line is not yet available, but there a couple of items you can purchase to get a taste of the series.
Bodybuilding.com appears to be one of the first places with any of the MusclePharm Natural products. It has two of the line’s five supplements in stock and available with Pre-Workout and Organic Superfood, leaving out the Organic Protein Bar and Protein Powder, and Grass-Fed Whey.

For a limited time you can also save on both of the new MusclePharm Natural Series products, with a 20% off sale Bodybuilding.com is currently running. It drops Pre-Workout down from $40 to a slightly nicer $32 for 30 servings, and Organic Superfood down from $42 to $33.60 also for 30 servings.

MusclePharm Natural Series bar powered by pea and brown rice protein

MusclePharm Natural Series bar powered by pea and brown rice protein

We’ve seen and heard a lot about MusclePharm’s Natural Series over the past few months, but we haven’t got any specific details or at least everything about any of the products. As the line now gets closer to release we have got that information, with this post being all about the only edible item in the MusclePharm Natural Series, the Organic Protein Bar.
Formula and macros

Just as its name suggests, the MusclePharm Organic Protein Bar is an on-the-go, organic based, high protein snack. It features an all-natural formula with no GMOs, soy, dairy, gluten, or any sort of artificial ingredients.

Each of the MusclePharm Organic Protein Bars weighs in at 50g and provides a strong set of macros. Starting with the most important number, the bar packs 15g of protein from a blend of brown rice and pea protein, 25g of carbohydrates with 9g of that fiber, 6g of sugar, and 5g of added sugar, 3.5g of fat (0.5g saturated), and a total of 170 calories.
Two flavors

At the moment MusclePharm’s edible Natural Series supplement is still not yet available, although as mentioned we are now a lot closer to its launch. Whenever it does eventually arrive, those interested are going to be able to purchase it in boxes of 12 with two flavors to choose from in Chocolate Toffee and Peanut Butter.

Elevation Fight Team moves out of MusclePharm training facility

Elevation Fight Team moves out of MusclePharm training facility

Colorado-based Elevation Fight Team is parting ways with long-time team sponsor MusclePharm.

“As a team, Elevation Fight Team has decided to move all of it's training from the MusclePharm Facility to the chain of Easton Training Centers located throughout Colorado,” coach Eliot Marshall told MMAFighting.com. “The partnership Elevation has had with MusclePharm over the last four years has been awesome and is something we are all appreciate greatly. That being said, the time to move to more of a traditional setting is now. By moving our training to the Easton Training Centers, our fighters will now reap the benefits of having a full curriculum of classes and many different locations to choose from.
“The fight team will still have one hour a day Pro Team training that will take place at Easton's Denver location, but the fighters will have the opportunity to take classes throughout the day at the location most convenient to them.”

EFT is home to the likes of TJ Dillashaw, Matt BrownNeil MagnyDrew DoberBrandon Thatchand many more.

It remains to be seen how this split will affect fighters like Dillashaw, who’s openly talked about getting paid by MusclePharm to move his training to Colorado.

The current coaching staff consists of Marshall, Amal Easton, Christian Allen, Cody DonovanVinnie Lopez and Dave Zabriskie.

“We are excited to continue building Elevation Fight Team into one of the world's best fight teams and believe the best is yet to come,” Marshall added.

MusclePharm Reports 2017 First Quarter Financial Results

Denver, May 10, 2017 MusclePharm Corporation (MSLP) today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Operational and Financial Highlights for First Quarter 2017 (as compared to First Quarter 2016 unless otherwise indicated):

Financial Results
  • Net Revenue was $26.0 million compared to $42.9 million in Q1 2016, and flat sequentially compared to Q4 2016
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased to $1.5 million compared to $1.3 million in Q4 2016
  • Reduced net loss 52.3% to ($3.1) million
Cost Reduction Activities
  • Costs of revenue decreased 29.5% to $19.5 million
  • Reduced inventory by 28.6%
  • Total operating expenses decreased by 56.8% to $9.1 million
  • Reduced operating expenses to 35.0% of revenue, down from 49.0% in Q1 2016
  • Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 32.0% to $2.9 million
  • Salaries and benefits costs decreased 66.0% to $3.3 million
  • Advertising and promotion expenses decreased 56.0% to $1.9 million
  • Professional fees decreased 36.5% to $0.9 million
  • Launched Natural Series
  • Hired two industry veterans to bolster sales team

"We entered 2017 with strong momentum, having completed our 18-month corporate restructuring in late 2016," commented Ryan Drexler, President and Chief Executive Officer of MusclePharm. "Since completing the restructuring, we have turned our focus to implementing a series of strategic growth initiatives intended to expand our global footprint, broaden our target customer base and build value for shareholders. Specifically, we continue to work with our core specialty retail partners, and at the same we are increasing our penetration in both the independent retail and increasingly important online retail channels, such Amazon."

"Headlining our new initiatives was the launch of our Natural Series line of organic, gluten-free supplements. This launch represents both a significant milestone for MusclePharm as we enter a new retail category as well as sets the stage for the Company to capitalize on its brand and open new distribution channels in the all-natural, healthy living space, which is the fastest growing segment of the supplement market. We have also strengthened our sales and marketing infrastructure to support the launch of Natural Series, including the hiring of two experienced sales executives to help us secure distribution with the leading retailers of organic and health-oriented products," continued Mr. Drexler.

"As we position MusclePharm to capture additional market share, we launched our global expansion strategy, including working to secure local manufacturing capabilities in the UK, supported by the appointment of a new Head of UK Sales, industry veteran Dan Clark. We are very excited about the significant growth opportunities in Europe's food supplement market, which, according to Euromonitor data, is projected to reach a €7.9 billion market value by 2020. Looking ahead, we will continue to execute against our strategic plan to grow both domestically and abroad. MusclePharm's strong brand recognition and efficient business structure, which saw operating expenses decrease 56.8% year-over-year, ensures we are well-positioned to increase our global customer base and achieve sustainable growth. We are committed to remaining an innovative leader in the dynamic and growing supplement market," added Mr. Drexler.

2017 First-Quarter Results
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, net revenue was $26.0 million, compared with $42.9 million in the prior year. The decrease in net revenue was primarily due to the termination of the Arnold Schwarzenegger product-line licensing agreement, the sale of our BioZone subsidiary and certain other products being discontinued. Net revenue for the first quarter of 2017 was flat compared to fourth quarter 2016 net revenue of $26.0 million.

Mr. Drexler commented on the financial results, "Throughout the reorganization period, we purposefully terminated sales of certain unprofitable SKUs which, as expected, impacted Q1 2017 revenues compared with the prior year period. Against this backdrop, we are pleased to report that revenue stabilized during the first quarter. Throughout the remainder of 2017 we expect to ramp up sales, driven by the launch of our new Natural Series line and supported by our revamped sales and marketing strategy."

Adjusted EBITDA, including certain one-time adjustments, a non-GAAP measure which removes adjustments totaling approximately $4.7 million in stock-based compensation, restructuring charges, depreciation and amortization, as well as other items defined in the reconciliation table included in the press release, was approximately $1.5 million in the first quarter 2017, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $1.3 million for the fourth quarter 2016, which also included certain one-time adjustments.

For the first quarter of 2017, gross profit was $6.5 million, compared to $15.2 million in the first quarter of 2016, most of which was related to excessive credits and chargebacks received from a number of traditional bricks-and-mortar clients, as well as increased whey protein costs and discontinued products. Operating expenses were $9.1 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared to $21.0 million for the same period in 2016. The Company reduced operating expenses to 35% of revenue in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 49% for the same period in 2016, with significant reductions in advertising and promotion expense and salaries and benefits expense. Advertising and promotion expense decreased 56.0% to $1.9 million for the first quarter of 2017, or 7% of revenue, compared to $4.3 million, or 10% of revenue, for the first quarter of 2016.

The net loss for the 2017 first quarter was ($3.1 million), or a loss of ($0.23) per share, compared to a loss of ($6.6 million), or a loss of ($0.48) per share, for the same period in the prior year. The 2017 first quarter also includes one-time charges of $0.3 million related to employee severance costs and stock-based compensation of terminated employees.

2017 First Quarter Conference Call Information
When: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Time: 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time
1-888-539-3678 (domestic)
1-719-457-2604 (international)
Conference ID: 7192811

A live webcast will be available online on MusclePharm's website at http://ir.musclepharmcorp.com/, where it will be archived for one year.

An audio replay of the conference call will be available through midnight May 24, 2017 by dialing 1-844-512-2921 from the U.S. or Canada, or 1-412-317-6671 from international locations, Conference ID: 7192811.

MusclePharm Appoints Daniel Clark as UK Sales Director

MusclePharm Appoints Daniel Clark as UK Sales Director: New Hire Marks Strategic Push into the UK and Western European Markets

DENVER May 8, 2017 MusclePharm Corporation (MSLP) announced today that Daniel Clark will join the Company as the United Kingdom Sales Director, where he will lead the sales and marketing efforts for the region.

Prior to joining MusclePharm, Mr. Clark served in various roles for six years at USN UK, a global sports supplement company, where he was integral in making it one of the most trusted brands in fitness nutrition. Most recently, he served as the Sales Director at USN where he was responsible for creating, managing and leading a team to manage key national accounts across health, retail, grocery, vending, online and wholesale sectors. 

While at USN, he successfully spearheaded its expansion into new markets in both the gym and specialist retail sectors, developing a network of national health club operators where he implemented promotional, educational and marketing strategies to establish a strong brand presence. His strategies resulted in the creation of new business channels across multiple sectors.

"The U.K. represents a tremendous growth market for MusclePharm, as the sports nutrition sector is expected to achieve double digit growth year-over-year," said Ryan Drexler, CEO, MusclePharm. "We understand that the nutritional supplements market differs widely from region to region and in order to succeed in the UK, we require someone with institutional on-the-ground knowledge of the market.  The combination of Dan's extensive experience working in the fitness and nutritional field in the UK for nearly two decades, combined with his impressive sales and marketing track record, will allow us to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity in the UK and beyond."

MusclePharm's investment in expanding its international footprint efforts is a critical component of its overall strategy to grow its business and to capitalize on its well-honed brand. Today, MusclePharm has a presence in more than 120 countries, but is looking to gain market share in select markets. At the same time, the Company is working to secure local manufacturing capabilities to allow for easier labeling and more efficient fulfillment.

"In addition to MusclePharm's flagship products across the U.K., there is increasing demand for all-natural, plant-based products that we can address with the Company's newly-launched Natural Series," said Mr. Clark. "With the highest quality ingredients, backed by the robust research and development from its Sports Science Institute, MusclePharm is well positioned to quickly become a name brand in the U.K."

MusclePharm reformulates and relaunches widely popular Re-Con post-workout recovery produc

MusclePharm reformulates and relaunches widely popular Re-Con post-workout recovery product: 

DENVER, April 20, 2017 MusclePharm Corporation announced today that it has reformulated and relaunched its popular Re-Con product. The new and improved Re-Con is available as part of the Company's Sports Series.

As one of the only sports nutrition companies with a scientific institute that tests ingredients and develops research in-house, as well as partners with prestigious universities and research institutions, MusclePharm reevaluates its products on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is using the best ingredients currently available.  After extensive research, the Company has reformulated Re-Con to include Groplex(™) and VitaCherry(™) Sport.  Currently, Re-Con is the only workout recovery product available that includes these ingredients.

  • GroPlex, developed by Glanbia, a leading creator of ingredient solutions for the food, beverage and supplement industries, is a unique complex of dairy proteins and peptides that are high in protein but low in fat and carbohydrates. GroPlex has been shown to cause a release of the anabolic or muscle building hormone insulin, which can improve the delivery of nutrients to muscle and activates the muscle growth pathway (MTOR) for muscle synthesis.
  • VitaCherry, developed in collaboration with Futureceuticals VDF, is a carefully processed whole tart cherry, which has traditionally been used by athletes for recovery and to promote reduction in muscle soreness. VitaCherry Sport is processed in a way that yields higher concentrations of the beneficial nutrients that prevent muscle soreness.

"As one of the only sports nutrition companies able and committed to conducting primary research, MusclePharm is uniquely positioned to validate the impact of the latest ingredients that support athletic performance and health," said Ryan Drexler, CEO and Chairman of the Board, "Over the past 18 months we undertook a review of some of our best-selling products including Assault, Combat Protein and Shred – and made significant improvements. Re-Con is the latest example of this effort.  As a result, I am confident that the thousands of retail outlets around the world, both brick and mortar and online, that carry MusclePharm products will add the newly formulated Re-Con to their line."

Re-Con was developed for use by all types of athletes from professionals to weekend warriors. The product's benefits include: reduction of muscle soreness, repair of damaged muscles and replenishment of vital nutrients for the body post-workout.

MusclePharm and Munster Rugby form Strategic Partnership

MusclePharm and Munster Rugby form Strategic Partnership: 

DENVER, April 18, 2017 MusclePharm announced today that it has formed a three-year strategic partnership with , Ireland's leading professional provincial rugby team and two-time winners of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

MusclePharm harbors existing partnerships with other world-class sporting organizations, including New Zealand's premier rugby outfit and current Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes. Under the terms of this latest agreement, MusclePharm will serve as the official sports nutrition partner to Munster Rugby. The team will be exclusively supplied with MusclePharm's superior sports nutrition and post-workout recovery supplements which have been certified by Informed-Choice as containing no banned substances. MusclePharm's branding will be prominently featured throughout a number of channels including product integration, promotional training sessions, sampling days, print media, online digital activity and in-stadia assets at Munster Rugby's home stadiums of Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park.  

As Ireland's preeminent provincial rugby team with a rich heritage of more than 130 years, Munster Rugby has a loyal and expansive international following that enables MusclePharm to significantly enhance its global brand visibility.  The team's dedicated fan base spans several continents, with millions of viewers worldwide tuning in to Munster's televised games each year.  

"Entering into this partnership with Munster Rugby underscores our commitment to serving athletes of all types and all levels with outstanding nutritional supplement products, free of banned substances, that complement their sports and lifestyle, while simultaneously furthering our global expansion goals," said Ryan Drexler, CEO, MusclePharm. "MusclePharm currently boasts a strong brand presence in Europe and, by partnering with Munster Rugby, we have a unique opportunity to reach an exceptionally engaged audience in Europe and beyond.  Furthermore, the addition of another professional sports team to our user base serves to showcase our products' efficacy and ability to adequately support the demanding lifestyles of dedicated athletes everywhere."

"Partnering with MusclePharm makes perfect sense for both our players and fans," said Enda Lynch, Munster's Head of Commercial & Marketing. "MusclePharm is a brand known for its high-quality ingredients, commitment to label transparency and –  most notably – the results it helps athletes achieve. We look forward to working closely with the company in a number of areas to provide meaningful brand experiences."

Munster Rugby participates in both the Pro12 and European Rugby Champions Cup, and will face defending champions Saracens in the prestigious European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals in Dublin on April 22nd 2017. This match will be televised across five continents.  

MusclePharm products – including Combat 100% Whey, Combat Protein Powder, Combat 100% Isolate, Combat 100% Casein, Assault Sport, Amino1 and Combat Crunch – are available in reputable retail outlets throughout Europe.

Famed Moutaineer Garrett Madison joins MusclePharm as Brand Athlete

Famed Moutaineer Garrett Madison joins MusclePharm as Brand Athlete: America's Premier Mount Everest Climber and Guide to Promote New MusclePharm Natural Series

DENVER, April 5, 2017 MusclePharm Corporation announced today that America's premier Mount Everest climber and guide, Garrett Madison will be a brand athlete, promoting the Company's new Natural Series.

Over the last eight years, Madison has led 44 climbers to the summit of Mount Everest, more than any other guide. He led the first expedition in history where climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse within 24 hours, as well as the first ever guided expedition to reach the summit of K2, the world's second-highest mountain. He is the founder of Madison Mountaineering, a boutique mountain guide service based in Seattle, Washington, and is regularly involved with film productions on Everest, having participated in four different features over the last three years.

As part of his partnership with MusclePharm, Madison will support the Company's marketing of its Natural Series on his own social media channels and share climbing footage and other content for distribution via MusclePharm's digital channels. In addition, he will serve as a brand ambassador at select events for the Company.

"Natural Series enables MusclePharm to target a new type of athlete: one that prefers an organic product. Many mountaineers and climbing enthusiasts fit into this category, and access to one of the most prominent names in mountain climbing will enable us to expose the brand to an athlete that may not have been previously aware of MusclePharm," said Ryan Drexler, CEO and Chairman of the Board, MusclePharm. "Garrett is a true adventurer and we look forward to working with him as we introduce the public to Natural Series."

"There is nothing more exhilarating than summiting a peak. To achieve this means pushing your body to its limit and takes discipline, nutrition and preparation. The Natural Series can help both professional and amateur climbers attain their goals," said Madison. "I look forward to working with MusclePharm and sharing the benefits of the Natural Series with the millions of people who have a shared passion for the mountains."

Launched in early March at Natural Products Expo West, Natural Series is a premium line of plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, products targeting individuals seeking an organic alternative to traditional nutritional products and supplements. Many of the products are certified USDA Organic.

MusclePharm strengthens Sales Team by adding Proven Industry Veterans to spearhead distribution efforts for New MusclePharm Natural Series

MusclePharm strengthens Sales Team by adding Proven Industry Veterans to spearhead distribution efforts for New MusclePharm Natural Series

ENVER, March 31, 2017 MusclePharm Corporation announced today the addition of two industry veteran sales executives with more than 30 years of combined experience – Christian Love and Jason Keenan – to support the introduction, sales and distribution of its new MusclePharm® Natural Series (Natural Series).

Both Love and Keenan join MusclePharm from Country Life Vitamins (Country Life), a leader in the natural foods industry, and bring to bear established relationships with traditional and online retailers, as well as retailers specializing in the natural foods sector.

Introduced in early March at Natural Products Expo West, Natural Series is a premium line of plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, products targeting individuals seeking an organic alternative to traditional nutritional products and supplements. Many of the products are certified USDA Organic, further differentiating the product line by appealing to the progressively more health-aware general public. The launch of Natural Series is the first of many anticipated sales initiatives slated for 2017.

"The launch of Natural Series is the first step in our strategy to expand and improve our product offering to drive long term growth in the business. Natural Series represents a tremendous opportunity for the Company to enter a new retail category and target consumers interested in all natural nutritional supplements," said Ryan Drexler, CEO and Chairman of the Board, MusclePharm. "To support the launch of this premium organic, vegan product, we are committed to building a robust sales team and comprehensive marketing campaign."

Mr. Drexler continued, "I am pleased that we were able to attract Jason and Christian, both of whom are considered two of the most well-respected sales executives in the natural supplement sector, to MusclePharm. We are confident they will be a great asset to the Company and our sales strategy. We expect their collective relationships with key retailers and distribution channels to drive sales of Natural Series. Today, MusclePharm products are available in more than 120 countries at nearly 50,000 retail outlets worldwide; with the addition of the Natural Series to the Company's product offering we expect to significantly expand this reach."

With nearly 20 years of experience, Jason Keenan will serve as National Sales Director, Key Accounts, focusing on digital distribution channels for the Natural Series. Most recently, Keenan served as National Key Account Manager for Country Life, where he was responsible for a large percentage of the Company's total growth and revenue. During his tenure at Country Life, Keenan served in various capacities within its sales division including direct sales, sales management, broker relations, web, grocery, key accounts, product training and marketing support.

Serving as National Sales Director, Natural, Christian Love brings more than 15 years of experience in the vitamin and supplement sector to MusclePharm. In her new role, Love will focus on securing distribution for the Natural Series internationally and domestically. Prior to joining the Company, Love served as Key Account Sales Manager at Country Life, where she managed key national accounts, growing revenue among accounts year-over-year as well as well as analyzed market data and trends to develop strategic marketing, sales and promotional programs for key accounts to ensure success. 

MusclePharm Natural Series explained in detail following Expo West

MusclePharm Natural Series explained in detail following Expo West:

Last month when we posted about MusclePharm’s upcoming Natural Series, where we only really talked about how the long awaited line was finally going to be launched sometime this year. This week following last weekend’s Expo West where the series was officially introduced, the athlete’s company has dropped more information on all four of its natural supplements.

The details we have to share are descriptions and highlights of the MusclePharm Natural Series products, starting with the protein powder Organic Protein. The biggest of the four natural competitors is a pea isolate protein formula also featuring the trademarked QuinoaTrim quinoa. The only macros we know for it so far are 25g of protein with 19g of carbohydrates.

Next is the other self-explanatory supplement Organic Superfood which features a mix of greens, fruits and vegetables, ancient grains, and sprouted whole foods. The product also packs a blend of aloe vera, digestive enzymes, and probiotics to with absorption of the whole formula.

You then have the category named Natural Series supplement, Pre-Workout. Like the rest of the products in the line, Pre-Workout features an all-natural formula with 150mg of PurCaf organic caffeine, green tea, guayusa, guarana, electrolytes, coconut water, and amino acids.

Last on the list is the only edible supplement from the MusclePharm Natural Series, the Organic Protein Bar. Just like the line’s protein powder, the bar does rely on pea protein as well as brown rice with a total of 15g of protein per bar, no artificial ingredients, and no soy, dairy, or gluten.

As far as we know, MusclePharm’s long awaited Natural Series is still due to be released early next month. We do also now know that the three powder supplements are going to be available in both tubs and individual sachet or stick pack boxes, or at least they’ve been previewed in both.