A SPORTS beverage company and sponsor of athletes like Patrick Mahomes has filed for bankruptcy.
All but nine of the company’s 181 employees will be laid off.
Canada-based BioSteel has filed for bankruptcy protection and announced a court-supervised sale of its business and assets.
Founded in 2009, the company makes sports drinks and powders sold on Amazon, Rite Aid and Walmart.
“BioSteel has made the decision to save money and put the company into hibernation to protect its assets,” a company statement said.
BioSteel was 90 percent owned by Ontario-based Canopy Growth, but the company pulled the plug due to continued losses.
Originally focused on hockey, BioSteel has since sponsored athletes from various popular sports.
Athletes promoting the brand included NHL superstars Connor McDavid and Tyler Seguin and Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes frequently appeared in promotional images with a BioSteel drink in his hand.
BioSteel also sponsored NBA teams including the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.
BioSteel products are still available for purchase online, but the company has not yet announced any liquidation sales.
According to an SEC filing, 181 employees will be laid off.
A source told Sportico that the company employed a total of 190 people last month, leaving just a remaining workforce of nine.
IN ITS HEIGHT?
BioSteel isn’t the only new beverage brand that has used celebrity faces to sell its products.
Last year, influencers Logan Paul and KSI got behind a new energy drink called Prime.
Her influence on social media led to a huge increase in sales, but the drink was extremely controversial.
Due to its caffeine content, Prime is banned in many schools in the US and is completely banned in New Zealand.
Even established brands sometimes release products that are flops.
Gatorade recently discontinued a “thirst quencher” flavor from its G2 lineup.
And Powerade drinkers have one less option on the shelves.