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Major NHL sponsor BioSteel files for bankruptcy

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

The owner of one of the leagues biggest sponsors has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Canada, and is trying to find a buyer for the business.

BioSteel, the NHL's "official hydration partner", has filed for bankruptcy, and will be laying off approximately 95% of its employees at the BioSteel division.

Ontario-based Canopy Growth, the largest cannabis company in North America, said in a news statement on Thursday afternoon that it has ceased funding for BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc., and that BioSteel has commenced proceedings under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act.

Canopy says BioSteel was responsible for approximately 60% of its financial losses during this fiscal year. And despite a reported $24 Million in sales in the first quarter of 2023, expenses topped $114 Million during that same period.

Originally founded in Toronto in 2009 by entrepreneur John Celenza and former NHLer Mike Cammalleri, BioSteel quickly grew thanks to marketing deals and affiliations with several of the biggest faces in the NHL, as well as in the NFL and NBA.

Notable NHL athletes such as Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor Bedard and John Tavares have all attended BioSteel-branded training camp together.

BioSteel has been well branded as a competition to popular sports drink Gatorade. BioSteel offers zero-sugar and 5 essential electrolytes with just 10 calories per drink pouch.

"BioSteel made the decision to conserve cash and put the business into hibernation to preserve its assets. BioSteel sought creditor protection under the CCAA to conduct a court-supervised sale process for its business and property for the benefit of its stakeholders."

The most recent payment on that NHL deal — due on Sept. 1 — was not made, according to a court filing. Between October and March of next year, the company owes another $12 million for