TB12, the health and wellness brand co-founded by Tom Brady and his long-time body coach Alex Guerrero, recently named Grant Shriver CEO and partner. The former Lowe’s Home Improvement executive was brought in to take a fast-growing business, which he says “dominates” the Boston market, and scale it. “The customer in [New England] fully understands what we do and what we’re about,” Shriver said. “We need to take that mentality and push [it] west, continue to bring brand awareness across the country and frankly, internationally.” The early stage growth company plans to raise capital within the next 12 months, money it will use to build new training and recovery facilities and to grow its products line.
JWS’ Take: Shriver brings merchandising and national retail experience to TB12 as the company embarks on the next stage of its development. Prior to joining TB12, he was VP of private brands, product development and global operations for Lowe’s Home Improvement.
The TB12 method is a “holistic approach to health and wellness.” Brady attributes his on-field success and longevity to the regimen, and the company has a client list littered with elite athletes. But the company is selling the idea that one doesn’t need to play sports—at any level—to benefit from the program, and contends that anyone who follows it will “perform better.” That includes 4-year-olds with congenital health issues, elderly people rehabilitating from surgery and parents simply trying to keep up with their active children.
TB12 also claims its program helps to reduce and eliminate chronic pain. “That’s [often] the main motivator to come and see us,” Shriver said. Clients unable to fix injuries with more “mainstream solutions” come to see if the Brady-Guerrero method can help. “[And] we hear time and time again, it wasn’t until I went to TB12 that I actually fixed my shoulder problem, fixed my knee problem, my lower back issue,” he added.
The business has two distinct divisions: products and services. Each division is targeted to generate roughly half of the company’s revenue.
On the products side, TB12 sells an array of electrolytes, proteins and multivitamins, along with select equipment (think: resistance bands) and apparel. “All things that help to support the broader method,” Shriver said. Products are sold in TB12 centers, select retailers and on the TB12 website.
On the services side, there are in-person sessions with a TB12 body coach at one of three TB12 Center locations (Foxborough, Boston and Tampa) or at medical facilities in Philadelphia and West Palm Beach, Fla. Half-hour virtual coaching sessions are also offered. Shriver said the company offers the same series of bodywork techniques developed by Guerrero and used by Brady over the last three decades.
It is worth noting that at least some have questioned Guerrero’s approach. Back in 2015 the Boston Globe reported: “The Patriots medical and training staffs had lodged complaints with Belichick about Guerrero’s expanding role with the team. Their concerns involved Guerrero’s alternative treatment practices often clashing with their own methods as well as his questionable background. Before Brady made him his business partner, Guerrero had been sanctioned by federal regulators for falsely presenting himself as a medical doctor and deceptively promoting nutritional supplements, according to government records.”
TB12 faces a number of competitors on both sides of its business. Optimum Nutrition and RSP are among the well-known supplement manufacturers, and Myodetox is an example of a “hands-on bodywork provider.” Shriver’s company believes the materials it uses (see: plant based protein, no sugar), the way those materials are sourced (think: ethically from U.S.), and its methodology distinguishes it from the competition. But “pulling [all] those elements together as one idea, that’s the differentiator,” Shriver explained. “There is really is no one out there who does what we do holistically.”
Shriver said TB12 is generating “meaningful sales” volume and is on a “clear path” to profitability, but added the company remains focused “on generating revenue growth and making longer-term investments in the business.”
That growth requires raising awareness of the brand. “You can expect to see TB12 products hitting more shelves. That is going to be part of the solution,” Shriver said.
Increasing the company’s physical presence is also part of the plan. TB12 intends to open new centers in key metro areas around the country, to “make this accessible to way more people, and as we’re doing that, we’re sort of building out the product side at the same time,” Shriver explained. The company is in the “lease agreement stage” on the development of new locations.
Building new facilities can be costly, but TB12 does not plan to fund all of the growth by itself. “We’re getting payback [on investment in new centers] in a little over a year, maybe a year and a half,” Shriver said. “So, it’s not a big wait to get to profitability on those owned spaces.”
Beyond that, “Once we’ve anchored in some key locations, there may be franchise opportunities,” Shriver said.
Partnerships are also possible. TB12 body coaches could post up within the confines of an existing complementary business (think: hospitals, hotel and resort brands). “That’s another revenue stream and a way we can expand into other markets,” Shriver said, who also spoke of plans to roll out technology and equipment products in 2023.
It is hard to gauge the exact size of the market opportunity for TB12. Supplements alone are part of a ~$37 billion industry. “But when you start to think about the size of the chiropractic business, the size of physical therapy, the size of athletic training, all of those [businesses] in aggregate are massive,” Shriver said.