When Kawhi Leonard takes the court tonight for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, the LA Clippers superstar will do so fueled by a natural energy line of products that are rapidly gaining popularity among top athletes -- not just because they work, but because they are clean.
The company (called X2 Performance) is backed by some of the best investors in the consumer goods and sports industries, led by L Catterton, an early investor in Peloton, VitaminWater, Tonal, Hydrow, etc. Kawhi, an avid user and believer in X2, recently joined the company’s Board of Directors.
The X2 brand is experiencing a lot of growth off the field as well. Serial Sports Entrepreneur and Investor Mark French also joined the X2 Board of Directors to help commercialize the best kept secret in pro sports. French lends instant credibility in the space with a proven track record of having successfully launched products with elite pro athlete partners including: Dwyane Wade, Serena Williams, Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and others.
Following a successful rebrand and launch with national distributors, including CVS, Subway, GNC and Amazon, French has agreed to take the CEO role to lead the brand through this critical growth phase.
X2 has long been a staple with professional athletes and throughout professional sports locker rooms. Over 25 Pro Teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL are currently purchasing X2’s patented line of products for their athletes to use for training and game day performance. X2 is now available for everyday athletes who also demand clean ingredients for optimal performance.
One of the first people to discover X2 and its potential commercial appeal is former NY Jets GM and Miami Dolphins Front Office Exec Mike Tannenbaum. Following a victory, Tannenbaum went through the locker room and noticed empty X2 containers. He asked the strength and conditioning coaches, and they said a number of players wanted to use X2 because it helped them be at their best on training days and game days. “Players seek out X2 because they’re using it to enhance their performance naturally and safely. And the Strength & Conditioning coaches feel comfortable supplying to the players because of its rare NSF Certification status,” said Tannenbaum. NSF International’s testing, which scans, in part, for 280 substances banned by many major athletic organizations.
Kawhi Leonard is hardly the only athlete who took notice of X2 in their locker room and wanted to get personally involved in the next breakthrough beverage brand. Lavonte David, team captain of the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers also has been using X2 to help naturally fuel his training and gameday performance. David joins a growing list of A-list athletes who have invested in X2. Additional high profile partners, including some outside the traditional "linear" sports space will soon be announced.
Sports industry leaders -- whether it's those A-list athletes, agencies, team owners and the best VCs and private equity groups in sports -- are all investors in X2, and that's something we're really proud of," French said. "And I think it's part of the reason why we're having success, because the people that are investing in the brand are bringing a lot of strategic value, as well."
Now, as pro teams increasingly adopt X2 products, so, too, are consumers and retailers, with CVS, Subway, GNC and Amazon among those providing distribution coast-to-coast. This fall, as the product line expands, French says, the goods will also land in grocery and convenience stores across the country."Our consumers are the people that are reading ingredients. Our goal is to make X2’s natural, clean energy offering available for the health conscious consumer wherever they shop. We are excited by the interest and demand we are seeing from retailers and consumers alike.”