SBJ/April 8 - 14, 2002/Labor Agents

Penta water signs athletes, talks to teams

Penta water has signed San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman and San Diego Spirit WUSA player Shannon MacMillan to endorsement deals, and Penta's parent company is in talks with eight to 10 other athletes about endorsement contracts.

In addition, officials at Bio-Hydration Research Lab Inc., the company that produces and distributes Penta, are in discussions with nine pro teams about sponsorship deals, said David Cheatham, chief operating officer of the San Diego-based company.

The teams include baseball, football, basketball and hockey franchises, Cheatham said. "We are in the process of negotiating deals to become the official water," he said. Cheatham declined to reveal any financial details of the deals that have been signed or are under discussion.

Hoffman and MacMillan both signed one-year deals. Eric Burak, director of marketing at Beverly Hills Sports Council, negotiated Hoffman's deal. MacMillan's deal was negotiated by her agent, Richard Motzkin, president of the firm SportsNet.

Bio-Hydration was founded in 1999 and began distributing Penta to health food stores about two years ago, Cheatham said. The molecules of Penta water have been restructured through a physics process that is advertised to allow faster hydration, Cheatham said.

The company has commissioned studies that show the water has boosted athletic performance, and Bio-Hydration has applied for a patent for the physics process it invented to restructure the water, Cheatham said. "It is expensive," he added, noting that a half-liter bottle retails for $2 to $2.25.

Sales at the privately held company have been growing at a rate of about 25 percent a month, and Cheatham expects that sports marketing and athlete endorsements will help continue that trend.

"Our target market first are athletes," he said. "There are about 100 million weekend-warrior athletes [in the United States]. ... We are interested in having [professional athlete endorsers] help get the word out."

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