Patrick Mahomes-backed business files for bankruptcy, lays off employees

BioSteel's Clean. Healthy. Hydration. Line-Up (CNW Group/BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc.)
BioSteel's Clean. Healthy. Hydration. Line-Up (CNW Group/BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc.)(PRNewswire)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 2:27 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has all kinds of endorsement deals and appears on commercials for State Farm, Subway, Hy-Vee, and T-Mobile, to name a few.

One endorsement deal isn’t paying off, at least for its parent company.

Canopy Growth, which owns 90% of the equity in BioSteel, filed for bankruptcy protection last week. The company, which makes most of its money in cannabis, decided to stop funding the company and instead sell it.

The company, based in Ontario, Canada, said it expects to save more than CDN $100 million, or about $74 million USD, a year with the move. In an SEC filing, Canopy said it will lay off 181 employees.

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“Canopy Growth has marked yet another major milestone in our transformation plan, as while BioSteel’s business has shown significant year-over-year revenue growth, and we believe the brand remains an attractive asset, it does not align with Canopy Growth’s cannabis focused asset-light strategy. We have repeatedly demonstrated that we will take decisive action to enhance our profitability and ensure we are focused and positioned to be a leader in the North American cannabis sector,” David Klein, Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

BioSteel Sports Nutrition signed Mahomes to an multiyear endorsement deal in 2020.

“I have been using BioSteel’s products for years, and I love that its products are all-natural and sugar-free,” Mahomes said when the deal was announced in Aug. 2020. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be educated on sports nutrition by the best, and I want to pass along this knowledge to today’s youth.”

Mahomes is one of many high-profile athletes paid to endorse BioSteel.

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The company also became the NHL’s “official hydration partner” in 2022. It followed up by signing separate agreements with the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Even with the NHL deal and athletes endorsing the drink, BioSteel came in behind Gatorade, BodyArmor, Powerade and others in the sports drink market last year.