In any industry, there are largely two kinds of people: those who interface with the consumers and media, and those who quietly get things done behind the scenes, wanting no fame and no glory.
But sometimes, when dirty laundry gets aired out, some of the clean clothing gets mixed up in the filth.
Such is the case with the Bodybuilding.com vs. Jim Stoppani lawsuit, where Bodybuilding.com is suing Jim Stoppani and his company PhD Fitness over the ownership rights to the JYM supplement brand mark. The lawsuit was later amended, withnBodybuilding.com also suing GNC for $100 million, since GNC is now selling their own version of JYM supplements alongside Stoppani [allegedly illegally].
Who formulated Pre-JYM?!
One of the bigger questions asked in our YouTube video about the situation (filmed before the $100 million GNC lawsuit amendment) was, “Who really formulated the JYM Supplements?!”
Jim Stoppani has repeatedly stated that he has. And Bodybuilding.com has repeatedly disagreed.
Well, if the latest batch of court docs are any indication, it looks like it’s actually one of those behind-the-scenes guys who you’ve never heard of and will probably never see on social media. Brian, we apologize in advance, but you’re about to get aired out with the dirty laundry:
Meet Brian Rand
You won’t find him on Facebook. You won’t find him on LinkedIn. You might find this relatively useless profile on ZoomInfo.com. But that’s about all you’ll find, until you start digging through the Bodybuilding vs. Jim Stoppani court docs.
On September 26, 2016, Brian Rand, former Director of Private Label at Bodybuilding.com, signed the following sworn affidavit:
Brian Rand: The brains behind Pre-JYM
Below are the most important parts. All of Brian’s direct statements are italicized:
According to this affidavit, Jim Stoppani did indeed propose a pre workout, but Bodybuilding.com basically trashed it and the business method planned, and created what ultimately became Pre-JYM.
- “I was responsible for overseeing the formulation, labeling, and manufacturing process of Bodybuilding.com’s private-label brands, which include Bodybuilding.com’s PROTOGEN and JYM products.”
As noted at the end of our Jim Stoppani Scandal post, PROTOGEN is extremely similar to Pro-JYM. Potentially because Brian was behind both!
- In February 2013, Stoppani and his business partner, Mike McErlane came to Bodybuilding.com and proposed a pre workout supplement. It was manufactured by Adam Nutrition, and Jim and Mike (owners of PhD Fitness) wanted to sell it at Bodybuilding.com. Unfortunately,
“Stoppani’s proposed pre-workout supplement formula had a poor taste and smell, did not dissolve thoroughly, the texture was granulated, and the proposed ingredients were too expensive.”
Note that Brian Rand was not at this meeting, but another Bodybuilding.com employee, John Hardesty, was there and submitted an affidavit stating the same story (more on that later). Rand then finishes this point,
“I later tasted Stoppani’s sample supplement and independently reached the same conclusion.”
This section edited for readability:
“because Stoppani’s proposed pre-workout supplement formula was unusable and unsaleable, I needed to fundamentally rebuild the pre-workout supplement formula that ultimately became “Pre JYM.”
Among the active ingredient formulation changes that I identified and for which I was responsible, and that Bodybuilding.com implemented in manufacturing Pre JYM, were the following:
- we added creatine hydrochloride (which was entirely absent from Stoppani’s “formula”);
- we increased the amount of caffeine;
- we increased the amount of L-tyrosine;
- we increased the amount of citrulline malate;
- we increased the amount of alpha-glyceryl phosphoryl choline (since the amount in Stoppani’s “formula” was too low to be efficacious);
- we reduced the amount of beta-alanine (since the elevated amount in Stoppani’s “formula” could cause adverse side effects);
- we removed L-glutamine;
- we removed beta phenylethylamine; and
- we removed the probiotic.
- I also reworked the flavor system to address the offensive flavor and smell of Stoppani’s powder.
- Finally, at my instigation, we used soy to instantize the amino acids, which was essential to the “mixability” and solubility of the powder when mixed with water (which was a fundamental problem with the formulation Stoppani had presented).”
- “I also developed other JYM products with no contribution at all from Stoppani. For example, based on my idea and at my direction, Bodybuilding.com converted its own private-label product, Platinum Protogen, into “Pro JYM,” by removing a single (and expensive) ingredient – aminogen – from the Platinum Protogen blend, and adjusting the bottle and serving size.” (sidenote: exactly as we pointed out earlier this year!!!)
In the affidavit, Rand also discusses how Hardesty created the logo, but for the purpose of this post, we’re most interested in his Pre-JYM formulation.
So ultimately, the story according to this affidavit is that Jim Stoppani did indeed propose a pre workout, but Bodybuilding.com basically trashed it and the business method planned, and created what ultimately became Pre-JYM.
How can he add ingredients yet lower cost?
One issue we found is that Bodybuilding.com consistently claims that Jim Stoppani’s proposed pre workout was “too expensive”, yet they then removed a few inexpensive ingredients and then upped the doses on nearly everything else. Doesn’t that seem contradictory? How would that save money?
We asked that same question, and were told by other anonymous “behind-the-scenes” insiders that “Brian is one of the best in the biz.” With his relationships and Bodybuilding.com’s massive scale, we’re told that he could easily do better on pricing.
So why should I believe this guy?
The dwinding #JYMArmy crew may be asking why you’d believe any of this. So remember that this was a sworn affidavit submitted to the justice system. If it is proven to be a lie, Brian will have committed perjury, which is punishable by serious jail time in Idaho – up to 14 years!
We’re not sure how much Bodybuilding.com Blue Brian bleeds, but we highly doubt it’s worth any amount of prison time.
Yet…. dumber things have been done, and perjury does sometimes get committed. So if that’s not enough, then you’ll have to stay tuned and wait until the second part of the story….
COMING NEXT: The e-mail thread that could make this case for Bodybuilding.com owning JYM….
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