GoodSport CEO tells the story behind the new milk-based sports drink

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Good sports drink

Source: Good Sport

It started as a secret between Michelle McBride, her son Beau and the business idea that came from drinking milk.

McBride, 48, is the founder of GutSport, a sports drink made from milk elements. The beverage company was founded in February and after a solid start, GoodSport will target up to $ 15 million in its funding round.

In an interview with CNBC, McBride said their product is a “really effective hydration” sports drink made from cow’s milk. The company’s early investors include Major League Baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. and former San Francisco 49ers icon Ronnie Lott.

“I wasn’t trying to do anything cool with milk,” said McBride. “I made it from milk because it is the vehicle that gives us excellent hydration as it is filled with electrolytes, vitamins and carbohydrates. There is nothing like it. “

The chocolate milk theory

McBride, a former attorney, said she was looking for sports drinks that did not contain artificial ingredients. Her son Beau is a young athlete who worries about hydration while playing baseball in high temperatures. McBride wanted to be careful. After they couldn’t find a sports drink they both liked, McBride did some research and found chocolate milk helps with hydration in athletes. So she started giving it to Beau after baseball practice.

“When I did some research, I found it was full of electrolytes,” McBride said. “I didn’t know, and a lot of people don’t know because that’s not what people focus on when it comes to milk.”

Good Sports founder Michelle McBride

Source: Good Sport

Chocolate milk might be a good choice, but it didn’t meet other expectations.

The protein in milk is not good for exercise. It sits in an athlete’s stomach and can cause discomfort during exercise. And it’s not very refreshing to drink milk after exercising, even if it helps with hydration.

Upon returning from Beau’s basketball practice, McBride came up with the idea of ​​creating a sports drink – a more refreshing version of milk. Beau agreed, and the two agreed to keep it a secret.

“I said, ‘Don’t tell anyone,'” recalled McBride, adding that even her husband Jim was initially ignorant of the secret for months. “We called it ‘sports milk’.”

That name eventually became GoodSport.

McBride quit her job with a nonprofit and began research and development on the drink. GoodSport ultra filters elements from milk and removes remaining proteins after the farmers’ first filtration. In essence, it’s the part of the milk that farmers don’t need. McBride calls it “the goodness of milk”.

“What remains is a clear piece of milk that’s filled with electrolytes, vitamins, and the right balance of carbohydrates that we can use to make a sports drink,” she said. “I didn’t start out in the dairy industry,” added McBride. “I was a real consumer in need and wanted a natural sports drink that was really effective in moisturizing. Coincidentally, milk made this possible. “

The secret is out

McBride worked with the former director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Dr. Bob Murray, and the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin to develop GoodSport. The company is now based in Chicago and plans to expand.

GoodSports has six employees, is sold locally and launched on Amazon.com in March. There are currently four flavors available, and a pack of 12 GoodSport 16.9 ounces is $ 34.99 on the website. McBride did not provide financial data on the company, but said sales have been “great so far” and that “consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive”.

McBride said retail stores are “excited” about GoodSport, adding, “they love the idea and the taste”.

She sent CNBC samples of the product. A noticeable difference: GoodSport tastes less salty than other top sports drinks. And it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking milk. It’s refreshing and lactose free.

GoodSport plans to expand into the Midwestern states and use the new capital to bring additional flavors to market and fund “upfront costs such as production, sales and marketing.”

McBride said Griffey Jr. and Lott were good partners and found the former athletes “understand the product, the size of the market, and our fit within it.

Former MLB star Ken Griffey Jr. speaks to players in the National League dugout during the fourth inning against the American League team during the All Stars Futures game at Progressive Field on July 07, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio Teams.

Jason Miller | Getty Images

Learn from the past

The sports drinks market is projected to reach $ 36 billion by 2028. according to to the global research company Fortune Business Insights.

The US market is dominated by Pepsi’s own Gatorade and Coca-Cola products. But athletes, including the star of the National Basketball Association, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the NFL star Aaron Donald (Ready Nutrition), have also joined the room. So McBride knows the field is competitive. She uses her experience from legal practice to navigate the industry.

“Having a legal background gives you the opportunity to look at things and have the perspective to identify problems that need to be solved and then develop plans to solve them,” said McBride.

“I understand that there aren’t many women who found sports drinks,” she added. “It’s a tough category, but the whole process itself – turning milk into a sports drink – was tough. That won’t put me off.”

At the moment, GoodSport is not planning a vegan line of popular oat milk products. McBride also doesn’t want to compete with the top brands. It is enough to start at the national level and cement your place in the sports drinks industry.

“Even if we have a small share of that (market share) we will have a very successful business,” said McBride. “We’re going to hit our numbers. We’re going to be a great investment opportunity.”

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