I will be 100% honest with you: this piece is going to contain bias. Why? Because I have a soft spot and an insurmountable amount of respect for those who give. Unfortunately I will not cover every brand out there that does acts of kindness through giving/charity, I can only tell you about the ones that we work with on a daily basis. The ones that we ask what it is they are doing, because quite frankly, many of them are too proud to toot their own horn. Well, allow me: beep beep.
The year of 2020 is a memorable one. It's a year that many brands and consumers wish to forget. The sea of gym closures and retail stores that overtook the United States from March until now has really taken a toll on the sports nutrition industry. Many brands struggled to survive.
While many were trying to figure out how to act in the face of this pandemic, several stood up and did what they felt was right: help others who need it. What came out of all these acts of kindness and good was a new found light shed on an industry that only gets publicized for all the wrongdoings. We believe it is time we celebrate those brands who go above and beyond and do more than just sell you a supplement.
This is why, for the first time ever, Fitness Informant will be awarding a brand with the 2020 Philanthropic Brand of the Year Award. The award will be given to the brand who answered the call for good, went above and beyond their normal business functions and, most importantly, really made an impact on our people.
The award won't be awarded until the end of 2020, but it is never too late to celebrate the good that has been going on this year.
Sports Nutrition and Philanthropy
Let's be honest, there has always been philanthropy in the sports nutrition industry, but it doesn't get talked about nearly enough. Whether the brands are too humble or maybe the story just isn't that interesting to many, it is time we try to change that and bring to light the good that our space has done.
Take the Australian wildfires for example. Earlier this year, yes this was 2020, a band of brands came together and raised money and awareness for those impacted by the devastating wild fires in Australia. Some of these brands don't even do business there, but they felt so strongly about helping that they participated. This year has been no different.
With so many business and people struggling to make ends meet, stay healthy and fight the COVID19 pandemic, our brands stepped up to help. We will discuss several brands below and their acts of kindness this year. We want to be clear, there are more brands doing good things than listed here, but these are the ones we talk with on an almost daily basis.
GHOST has done a lot of cool stuff in 2020 in terms of product launches, new flavors and new categories. GHOST is one of the front-runners for 2020 Brand of the Year. However, it wasn't just what they did in terms of product innovation and category expansion that put them in that conversation, it has a lot to do with their character as a brand.
GHOST kicked off the year with their traditional Apparel of the Month in January, however this time it had a different meaning. The apparel was inspired by the legendary volunteer firefighters who battled the historic wildfires that devastated Australia. All the proceeds from the sales of the Apparel of the Month was donated to the NSW Rural Fire Brigade.
It's no surprise that GHOST launched an epic Greens formula in 2020, but did you know that for every unit purchased the GHOST team planted a tree? GHOST partnered with the legends at One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every unit of GHOST sold on Earth Day. Post launch, GHOST continued the partnership specifically with GHOST Greens and have planted over 30,000 trees to date, with half going to the areas of California impacted most by the recent wildfires and the other half going to help rebuild the areas of NSW Australia impacted by the wildfires.
COVID19 wasn't the only dark spot in 2020, racial inequality and injustice was at the center of our country with horrific acts in multiple cities that spurned protests and riots. Chicago was one of those cities deeply impacted by this movement. You may not know, but GHOST HQ is in Chi Town. The GHOST team vowed to make a different.
GHOST donated $15,000 to Campaign Zero and their #8CantWait Project led by data-driven policies proven to decrease police violence by 72%. They also donated an additional $10,000 to My Block, My Hood, My City Small Business Relief Fund and their efforts to repair and rebuild small businesses in Chicago.
More recently, GHOST partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with the release of their Hyper Pink Shaker of the Month. The brand has vowed to donated $10,000 regardless of sales to the foundation to support of all of their legends affected by, fighting or who have beaten breast cancer.
It is safe to say that GHOST is more than just a cool, hip brand. The entire team at GHOST have kind hearts and their acts in 2020 have proven it.
RedCon1 has been known for their acts of kindness towards military families and causes that support our US military. In 2020 they took their efforts to a whole other level.
RedCon1 has always strongly supported military charities. If you follow the brand, or their CEO Aaron Singerman, on social media, they don't hesitate to show you the big checks they write to support organizations like Semper Fi Foundation and others.
RedCon1 really wanted to make an impact in the the lives of military families, and realized that a lot of charities only give a portion of the money raised to support the cause, that the brand decided to step up and launch their own foundation.
The RedCon1 Foundation was launched in 2020. The mission of the RedCon1 Foundation is to provide financial support to United States military families that have experienced a hardship. Their first big act of kindness exemplified exactly that.
Meet Courtney Brown. Mr. Brown is a US veteran who served in the US Marines. Courtney served from 2007-2011. In 2020 Courtney was able to purchase his family a new home, only to lose his job shortly after due to COVID19. He was nominated for the RC1 Shield of Honor by Marine veteran, Captain James Ferguson. James and Courtney served together in Afghanistan. In July 2020 Mr. Brown was awarded the RC1 Shield of Honor and the RedCon1 Foundation took care of his mortgage for six months.
The RedCon1 Foundation also organized a very successful 9/11 Readiness Run to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001. All money raised went to support the foundation and their mission.
The Foundation also wanted to help those families in need who could not afford school supplies for the upcoming school year. An integral part in organizing this effort was Darielle Singerman, Mrs. RedCon1. In their efforts, the foundation was able to put together 300 complete school supply sets to give to those in need.
RedCon1 continues their effort to make a difference in the lives of military personnel and their families. We talk about causes being "on brand," it is hard to find a cause more "on brand" than the RedCon1 Foundation.
Perhaps one of the more unique and impactful ways that a brand gave back in 2020 is the efforts of the entire NutraBio team. While there is certainly nothing wrong with donating time or money to a cause, in fact it is admirable, NutraBio's goal was to support our First Responders (EMT's, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, etc) by dispersing immune strengthening products in First Response that was formulated to help strengthen their immune systems since they are on the front lines. In no way was First Response created to cure COVID19, but only to help strengthen immune systems in an effort to protect First Responders from this horrible virus.
According to a press release published in May of 2020, Nutrabio called the program, "First Responders Initiative," and had, to date, donated over $350,000 in immune support supplements, masks and sanitizer to thousands of nurses, police officers, paramedics, EMS & first aid squads, firefighters, and military personnel. In addition, they started donating protein powder to first responders in need. NutraBio continues this program today with a rumored amount of nearly $500,000 donated in the items listed above.
This campaign went viral on social media. In fact, many First Responders reached out to FI to ask how they could receive the NutraBio product. What initially started out as a program for New York and New Jersey First Responders quickly turned into a nationally known campaign with the brand embracing the opportunity to help those who need and wanted it.
NutraBio approached giving from a whole new perspective. This is one that really made an impact with what was going on in the world in 2020. In case you were wondering, the product was simple, but it was great.
MuscleTech went through a massive re-brand in 2020, but they did more than just that. The brand continued to support a cause they have been involved in since 2018. Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit that MuscleTech continues to support in a multiple of ways. In 2020 the brand took it to the next level.
MuscleTech created a line of supplements at Bodybuilding.com and Muscle & Strength that directly supports Homes for Our Troops. MuscleTech donates a portion of their proceeds to the charity.
MuscleTech also got involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the launch of Pink Tropical Punch Iso Whey Clear protein. A portion of the proceeds from Pink Tripical Punch Iso Whey Clear will go to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The NBCF mission is to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services. This is a year-long partnership.
It is nice to see big brands like MuscleTech also use their platform for good. Between building homes for our military families or helping the cause to find a cure, MuscleTech is doing noble things.
How often do you hear of meal prep companies getting recognized for the good that they do? Midwest Meals is the official meal prep company of FI. But deeper than that, they act with kindness on a daily basis.
In 2019, Midwest Meals donated over 4,000 meals to the Feed My People food bank which went to the Lighthouse Youth Center. Midwest Meals is on track in 2020 to surpass their total in 2019 helping those who desperately need a meal in 2020.
Revive MD not only makes some of the best general health supplements on the planet, they also take care of people. Earlier in 2020 Revive MD participated in a drive to raise money for those impacted by the Australian wildfires. The brand donated 10% of gross income during the month of February to support the cause. You can read more about it here.
Revive MD operates out of Florida and saw many people impacted by COVID19. The brand felt a calling to help those so they donated 10% of their gross income from March and June to support local Florida families impacted by COVID19.
Speaking of taking care of their own, Revive MD bought a mini-van for a single mother of four children to ensure she could get them to school and extra curricular activities. Speaking of children, Revive MD also donated 25 backpacks full of school supplies to children in need.
Revive MD is a fairly new brand that is already trying to go above and beyond, and that is in addition to their formulas.
Alpha Lion is a brand that continually gives. Many don't know, but the brand donates a portion of their proceeds to Vitamin Angels which helps fight children malnourishment. In fact, in 2020 alone, Alpha Lion has donated $15,000 to Vitamin Angels which helped an additional 60,000 mother's and children.
Alpha Lion was instrumental in helping fund the relief efforts for the Australian wildfires. Many don't know this, but it was Jordan and Troy (those behind the brand) that came and recruited FI to help in the efforts. Alpha Lion brought back their special Superhuman Supreme, Australian edition, to raise awareness and money for the cause. Retailers got involved too. Alpha Lion helped orchestrate a fundraising drive and donated $47,642.78 AUD themselves to the two charities. Today that is $34,364.26 USD.
COVID19 impacted Alpha Lion and their customers, as well as the rest of the nation. Alpha Lion did not sit back and wait, they sprung into action. Alpha Lion launched their 4th of July limited edition Libery Juice and helped two causes in need,
In addition to their ongoing support of Vitamin Angels, Alpha Lion donated an additional $10,000 to the charity which helped provide Vitamin A to 40,000 mother's and children. Another $10,000 was donated to the Karma Foundation which fed over 600 families in Colombia (Alpha Lion CEO Jordan Fares resides there).
Alpha Lion continues to impress supplement lovers with their solid formulas and products, and they continue to touch our hearts with their generosity.
It should be noted that several brands elected to not partake in divulging details as that is their personality. There are many more brands in addition to those on this list who have done good this year, and continue to do good as we round out 2020. Acts like these make me proud to be part of such a wonderful industry.
My plea to brands is we keep using our platform for good. Cause marketing is important, but it only matters if you truly believe in what you are doing. Cheers to all those on this list and those who are unamed. We are looking forward to rewarding a brand this year with the first ever Philantrhophic Brand of the Year Award.