by Matt Weik
The lifestyle supplement brand RYSE has been on the rise since the launch of its brand and wants to cause a sensation in 2020. But will the latest move come back to persecute them, or will it work in their favor?
To prepare the stage, RYSE sponsored the MMA fighter Conor McGregor in 2018. While Conor was one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, he had a lot of not so proud moments that made him legally difficult. Conor was arrested for his role in damage to a bus that held other UFC fighters when he was angry and caused his frustration. Then it became known that Conor hit an old man in the face in a bar. When it comes down to it, this affects not only Conor, but also its sponsors – like RYSE.
On her last train, RYSE signed Jeremy Buendia, the four-time Olympic champion for men. If you follow the industry, you know that Jeremy has had some problems of its own over the years. What raises the question of whether RYSE is looking for an image as a "bad boy" with its athletes?
Was this a good move for RYSE?
I scratched my head from all that RYSE could have signed. Not only do I think signing Jeremy (in my opinion) is a bad look for the brand, I also don't think this will help them increase their sales.
Since Jeremy is talking about a comeback on the Olympic stage (which I will have a separate article about), I really don't think he will come back to win his title. It's a good act, but competition has improved these days and I'm not sure if Jeremy has the build that the Olympic judges are looking for – but could I be completely wrong?
I am not here to demonize Jeremy because he has not been guilty of anything for which he has been called "exposed". I hope he comes back and proves everyone is wrong and is a contender for the title. But I just don't see it that way.
RYSE has a very cool supplement brand and one that I think a lot of people will flock to here. They offer everything from protein powders to pre-workouts, BCAAs, testosterone boosters, fat burners, protein pancakes and focus products. Essentially products in all the hot categories that are on the market today.
Still, I'm not sure what Jeremy’s value for the brand is. Does he have a following? For sure. However, signing someone who has had anger management issues in the past may not be the best move for your brand. You want someone who is relevant in the industry right now – similar to Conor McGregor, although he isn't the figurehead for being calm, cool, and collected. But he has an entertainment factor.
Conor vs Jeremy: Are athletes still worthwhile these days?
If you compare Conor and Jeremy, Conor wins in almost every category. Conor can help raise awareness and new consumers who may not know who they are. Jeremy is known in the fitness industry, but not a household name that people would recognize.
People follow the UFC and know the fighters. A small niche of the population follows bodybuilding and fitness. Most would look at Jeremy and think he's just a guy who's in good shape. And even though they are correct, they have no idea that he is a four-time Olympic champion in Men's Physique.
I would have preferred RYSE to go in a different direction with its expenses. Since he knows a little bit about Jeremy because he works in the industry, he won't sign on the dotted line unless he has a nice amount of money on the table to collect. I would have taken this money and invested it in other ways, such as some micro-influencers willing to promote the brand for a commission. Or better yet, don't spend any money and create an ambassador program where the payout is commission and / or free product.
Check out brands like Ghost. They are not out there and sign "athletes" per se. They are out there and building a community that basically sells the brand for them and makes them look exciting. In my opinion, this is a much better game. That doesn't mean that the athletes won't help spread the brand through social media, but people also see through advertising because they know they are being financially cared for by the brand to promote the products and that To say things that they are.
I'm not sure how long the contract with Jeremy will last, but I hope it's a one-year contract that you can evaluate things after a year to see if your investment really pays off. It also depends on what demographic RYSE is aiming for. As a "lifestyle brand" are you aiming for the mainstream athlete or are you focusing more on the bodybuilding and fitness community?
Only time will tell how this partnership develops. I wish everyone involved the best and I definitely want to see what Jeremy can do for the brand to increase awareness and sales, and what he can do on stage in 2020.