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Terrell Davis launches first DEFY non-CBD beverage

Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous discusses the latest addition to the DEFY product line with Terrell Davis, former NFL player, and Megan Bushell, CEO of DEFY.

Video Transcript


ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Welcome back. Two-time Super Bowl champ and NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis is making waves off the gridiron as an entrepreneur. The former Denver Broncos running back and MVP is the co-founder of the sports drink company, Defy.

And in an interview you will only see here on Yahoo Finance, I am pleased to welcome to the show Mr. TD himself, along with Defy's CEO and co-founder, Megan Bushell. Welcome to you both. Terrell, I'm going to start with you. Defy, for those who don't know, is a CBD-infused sports drink company designed for athletes. Why did you decide to start this company?

TERRELL DAVIS: Well, I decided to start it because as an ex-NFL player, I realized that there was a need for post-NFL care in terms of the way we feel in our bodies. And so, many years ago, I guess, when we tried CBD, I realized the effects of CBD and what it had on my body and how it allowed me to work out. You know, repeatedly, it decreased the inflammation in my body.

So the idea was born that if it can help me improve my quality of life, then there's thousands of people out there who can benefit from it. So we decided to launch Defy. And Defy is a performance brand. We're a performance brand. We do have CBD products, obviously, but we also have non-CBD products that are for people who have not, obviously, tried CBD. So that's why I started. And it's been, what, two years now. And we're going strong, and we're expanding. So we're pretty excited about that.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah. Speaking of expanding, Meg, I know you guys are launching your Defy water, your first high performance alkaline water. Why do that? And also, what retailers might we find this product in?

MEGAN BUSHELL: Well, it was the natural extension of our brand. And to TD's point, it's our first non-CBD-based product. But it's still in that performance lane. So it's an alkaline 9.5 water. It's really superior hydration. And we're rolling out nationally as we speak. We will be available in retailers beginning this April, especially in the Sprout's national chain. So you'll be able to find us in over 30 states nationwide. In the next three months, we're adding 1,000 new stores to our accounts. So we're very excited right now.

And from a timing standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Especially we're very excited to be able to announce this during Black History Month, because a portion of the proceeds of this water will be going back to support the Black women and veteran communities.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah, I wanted to talk a little bit about the whole paying it forward thing. And Terrell, how did you guys choose-- I mean, there are so many charities out there, right? How did you choose these particular charities, if you can share with us where some of these proceeds are going to be going?

TERRELL DAVIS: Yeah, I mean, you know, Megan talked about it. Our company is uniquely formed in terms of we have Black ownership. We have-- it's women-owned and it's veteran-owned. And so, the idea was to give back to those communities. And for us, it's still about Black-- you know, about health. And the charities that I will be supporting all deal with Black health.

And whether that's mental health, whether that's dealing with chronic illnesses and things from a physical standpoint, and really getting things where, in the Black community, a lot of times, we don't go to the doctor unless there is a problem. And so, it's all about doing things that are before you get something, right? Preventive measures to make sure that people are aware that there's help for whatever ailment they may be dealing with. So that's why we got behind that cause, I guess.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And Meg, who is the customer here? I mean, I know it's sort of geared toward the athlete. But there are only so many professional athletes out there. So who is sort of your core customer?

MEGAN BUSHELL: Sure, well, the beauty about water is that everyone needs water. Everyone can drink water. Of course, with an alkaline water, it's a 9.5 pH, so it's superior hydration. So it's still for that person who is perhaps dehydrated, that person who needs to increase their hydration and level out their pH for health and inflammation reasons. So there's really a broad audience. I mean, every age can obviously drink water. So we're very excited to be able to kind of expand our portfolio to be able to serve more people.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Interesting time to be launching this during a global pandemic, guys. Terrell, what are your thoughts as you see the NFL season unfold and, of course, the big event coming up on Sunday with the Super Bowl? How do you feel the league has handled these challenging COVID times?

TERRELL DAVIS: I think they've done a really good job, obviously. They're the only league that I know of that hadn't canceled a game since they started. You know, they've played every single game on their calendar and their schedule. And obviously, if they are able to complete this last game of the season, they would have that unique honor of saying that.

So big ups to the NFL. They've gone through the protocol of the players and the coaches. And, you know, the members of the team, they've all done what they were supposed to do in order to make this happen. So everybody made sacrifices to make sure that this game is finally played.

But yeah, but I mean, the game is a game. And I think it goes to mention that there's been all the frontline workers who have played a huge role in the NFL getting to where it is. And that's why the NFL has given 7,500 tickets to frontline workers free of charge, that is, to go attend the Super Bowl. So they recognize that without them, they wouldn't have gotten to this point.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And Terrell, you're one of the best running backs of all time. You've had a phenomenal career. But you were the 196th pick back in 1995. What's that saying? It's not where you start, it's where you finish. What's the lesson there, do you think, for entrepreneurs?

TERRELL DAVIS: Yeah, I think that's it. I mean, you can't-- you know, don't worry about where you come from or where you start. It's all about where you're going. And sometimes, you know, we might start off differently. You might have a 10-yard head start. You might be behind somebody 10 yards. But to me, it doesn't really matter. If you're in the game and you're competing, it's all about that focus on that goal and doing everything you can to get to that point.

And listen, Tom Brady was 199. So I didn't quite have the distinction of being drafted lower than Tom Brady. But, you know, Tom has been phenomenal. He's playing in his 10th Super Bowl. And so, if you need motivation, man, look at that dude for a guy who just is defying the odds on everything.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Right, yeah, he was another late round pick. And he hasn't done too badly. So speaking of the Super Bowl, I want to get both of your predictions. And Terrell, who are you calling here for the Super Bowl? What's your pick, and what about the score?

TERRELL DAVIS: I can tell you, I don't feel good about my prediction. But I'm going to give it to you anyway. I'm going Chiefs 38, Bucks 36. I think it will be one of those high scoring games. And I think the Chiefs make one more play than the Bucks to win it. But I have the right to change my pick as the week progresses, so I have the right to change my pick. But that's my real--

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: OK, so these rules will be just for you, Terrell. And what about you, Meg?

MEGAN BUSHELL: Well, I never like to bet against Tom Brady. But as a Kansas native, I have to go with my hometown Chiefs.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. What are you guys most looking forward to, Terrell, for 2021? I mean, as we start to come out of this pandemic, hopefully the vaccine rolls out. What's the one thing you really want to get back to doing?

TERRELL DAVIS: You know, just traveling and seeing people, just doing the normal stuff. I think we've taken for granted just simple things like just going to a restaurant and sitting down and eating, being around family a lot. I miss those things. From a company standpoint, we're looking to grow. We're looking to do really big things in 2021, expanding across the country, and hopefully, you know, being in thousands of doors. And so, we are really stoked and excited about the future of Defy.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, we're going to leave it there. Terrell Davis and Megan Bushell, thanks so much for being with us. And best of luck with the alkaline water.

TERRELL DAVIS: Thank you. Appreciate it.