Real Salt Lake (Professional Soccer) announced at the end of October 2013 a new partnered with LifeVantage Corporation with a 10 year, 30 million dollar jersey sponsorship that ranks among the most groundbreaking partnerships in Major League Soccer history. I’ve read through a few blogs and RSL fan forums, and I’m intrigued about the feedback I’ve seen. While there are a few critics (as is typical), the news is very positive, and I’m glad to see RSL and LifeVantage engage in a relationship that will benefit them both.
LifeVantage is a Multi Level Network marketing company (often called MLM) or direct sales based out of Salt Lake City. They are a memeber of the Direct Sales Association, and they’re open for business in the USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico and Hong Kong. Their headquarters are actually close to the Rio Tinto Stadium, where a new building is being constructed adjacent to the existing leased office space.
LifeVantage’s flag ship product is called Protandim. Protandim is an Nrf2 activator shown to reduce oxidative stress by an average of 40%. Protandim has been featured on several news programs such as ABC Primetime back when Protandim was sold in retail stores. Since 2005, a couple dozen self funded studies have been initiated by major universities around the world, and today 15 have been completed, peer reviewed and published in scientific and medical journals.
LifeVantage is a public traded company (on the NASDAQ stock exchange). Last year, LifeVantage was the 2nd fastest growing company in all of Utah, and the year previous was the 3rd fastest growing company in the state of Utah. The transparency of LifeVantage’s financial position make it a stable relationship for RSL, and I suspect that attracted RSL, having a transparent local and successful company in for a long term commitment.
This sponsorship as I understand it, is $30 million over 10 years. This contract is higher than the previous Xango contract. It brings more money into the club, and will help keep Real Salt Lake moving toward their long term goals of being a champion recognized team. The outgoing jersey sponsor Xango (another Utah based network marketing company) has also pulled out of other Wasatch front sponsorship’s, including Thanksgiving point in Lehi. However, since Xango is privately held company, I can only speculate on their financial situation.
But LifeVantage has something unique. A product that nobody has, validated by third parties and protected by several US and international patents. The company as stated is Publicly traded, local to Salt Lake City, and is growing quickly among all company’s in the region, and the industry. However I get some people are not interested in the industry of Network Marketing. I suppose its because its a business that anybody can participate in, but few people will do, just like anything in life: clubs, business or churches in the public eye, draw their skeptics as well. Many will source their opinions from Internet tabloid content I suspect, but that’s true with just about anything on the Internet.
Admittedly, I’m biased on the partnership with LifeVantage, however being a Real Salt Lake fan, I see it as a win-win for both partners. RSL gets funding they need, and LifeVantage pairs their public sponsorship with the levels of much larger companies such as Herbalife (a multi billion dollar MLM) that has been on Los Angeles Galaxy’s shirt since 2007. This also puts LifeVantage into the same sponsorship circles as Volkswagan, Quaker Oats, XBox, Alaska Airlines and other brands who also sponsor in professional Soccer.
In the end, I think most fans will come to respect how LifeVantage professionally participates with the club. And maybe at some point the players will realize what other professional teams are finding, Protandim is also a great supplement for athletes as well (see Baltimore Ravens and Protandim), and while I think the BSCG Certification means RSL players could use Protandim in their health regimen, I don’t think the engagement requires it.