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In March 2020, two guys from Texas reached out to filmmakers Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers—commonly known as the Buttery Bros—and asked them to help them build a sports nutrition company.
“I was immediately interested. I’ve got an entrepreneurial heart and like the hustle of it. This just sounded fun, and I kind of had a fascination with supplements for years,” Cannon said.
And when he looked into who these two Texan CrossFit enthusiasts were— Jeremy Osborne and Paul Haverland, both of whom have experience building supplement companies whose products Cannon liked—it quickly became a no-brainer to join on their mission to build a sports nutrition company designed specifically for CrossFit athletes.
A year-and-a-half later, their company, Podium Nutrition, launched its first products in the United States today, including a protein powder, a pre-workout, and a BCAA product.
“Our mission has always been to make CrossFit accessible and fun for everyone, now we want to take this a step further and make proper nutrition and supplementation accessible to all with Podium”
In the upcoming weeks, Podium Nutrition products will be available in retail outlets across the country. The company is also working hard to bring the products to Europe, Australia, and Canada in the coming months, and hopefully “real soon” to CrossFit gyms, Cannon said.
Bring on Mat Fraser
Cannon and Sawyers first met five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser in 2016 when they were working for CrossFit LLC’s media team. They got along right away, Cannon explained.
Their friendship really started to grow, however, when they filmed and released their first ever Buttery Bros episode—Acid Bath in Mat Fraser’s Garage—in January, 2019, an episode that now has more than 300,000 views.
Because Fraser was just so cool to hang out with, Cannon knew he wanted the five-time champ to be one of the founders of Podium Nutrition.
“Beyond the obvious of him being a five-time champ, we like him. Like I want to hang out with him. And I found that that’s the biggest factor in trying to find, not only a business partner but people you want to work with, is, ‘Who are you going to want to talk to?’” Cannon explained.
He added: “If I’m in trouble…and I need help, Mat’s the person that I want on my team on my side…And he’s really smart. He has incredible ideas.”
So Cannon reached out to Fraser’s agent Matt O’Keefe to gauge Fraser’s interest, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Fraser was about to retire and was looking for new business opportunities.
With Fraser on board, they were off to the races, with Osborne and Haverland in charge of the day-to-day, back end business operations, and Cannon, Sawyers, and Fraser taking the lead on the branding, the “vibe and feel” of the company, as well as connecting with the greater CrossFit community.
While Podium Nutrition has plans to release more products in the upcoming weeks, as of September 1, the three products available on their website include a whey protein powder available in three flavors—maple butter pancake, coffee ice cream and peanut butter crunch—a pre-workout called Fuse, and a BCAA product called Hydro + Salt, both available in peach mango and sour watermelon.
Cannon is especially excited about their Hydro + Salt BCAA product—which contains salt—because through the years traveling around with CrossFit athletes, he found they often added sodium to their BCAA drinks in order to replenish their electrolytes after a workout.
“Because a lot of supplements are made for bodybuilders…for people who want to look lean, and if you add sodium that makes you bloated…but for CrossFitters, that’s what you sweat out when you’re working out, so it’s very intentionally in (the products) so that you can replenish the stores of sodium,” Cannon said.
Their pre-workout is where Fraser had a big influence, Cannon said. Not surprisingly, it contains beta-alanine, a substance Fraser highly endorsed on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast—“It makes me feel like I have a third lung,” Fraser said—which led to beta-alanine sales skyrocketing in consequent weeks.
“He was very integral in figuring out the mix of the pre-workout,” Cannon said of Fraser’s role in the product.
About his vision of their products, Fraser said: “I wanted to offer something authentic to the community that would give them what they need and nothing they don’t for the type of training we do. I relied on my experience as a competitor in CrossFit, as well as insight from experts in sports nutrition to formulate the best products possible for the sport.”
Cannon’s vision for Podium Nutrition is to help CrossFit athletes be the best they can be—to get to the podium—not just in the gym, but wherever they strive to be great, be it the best accountant, the best reporter or the best mother.
“The imagery around the brand is going to reflect that, and that’s sort of the message behind (the brand), that’s our why, and our statement around what podium means,” Cannon said.
Their other priority is to help support athletes that speak to them, such as 2021 CrossFit Games Champion Justin Medeiros, who became Podium Nutrition’s first sponsored athlete in May.
“It’s really cool to be like, ‘Hey we love this kid who has a mullet that’s coming out of the Granite Games’…That’s the person I want to work with…It’s really fun to be able to support athletes financially by sponsoring them and working with them,” Cannon said, adding that he’s looking forward to bringing on more Podium Nutrition athletes in the future.
Most importantly, however, the priority is for their company to be able to make a difference and support CrossFit athletes worldwide, because “our community is worldwide, and we want to be able to spread that, Cannon said.
“Our mission has always been to make CrossFit accessible and fun for everyone, now we want to take this a step further and make proper nutrition and supplementation accessible to all with Podium,” he said.
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