Year on Year 32Gi not only supports many events, but many athletes as well. Hear from marketing manager Nastassja Howard on this episode of 32Gi Sports Nutrition, as we look forward to a big year ahead. Not only does she know the brand, as an active sportswomen, she practices what she preaches.
Welcome to this week’s edition of 32Gi Sports Nutrition, I’m Mr Active, David Katz. It’s a great pleasure today to welcome Nastassja Howard onto the podcast. She is with the 32Gi team, has been since October 2016. Always exciting things, every year they’re at events, they sponsor certain teams, they sponsor development.
So I thought it would be a great chance to catch up and hear a little bit more about what’s on the cards for 2017. Nastassja first of all, a little bit of background about you. You’ve come into a nutritional company, health and fitness industry; that must be of interest to you?
Nastassja Howard: Hi David, thanks for having me on the show. Yes, most definitely, I do come from a background of beauty, from Dermalogica to Sorbet. But have always been very, very active in sport. I started first as a runner, did many 10km and 21km which I found my niche in. Then recently – well not so recently – about two years ago started in the triathlon space.
I’ve always been a vegetarian and a firm believer in healthy eating and I’ve always used the 32Gi brands, so for me this was a very easy transition. Absolutely loved the product, loved the company and it’s nice to work in something that you truly believe in.
How food takes control of your body
DK: Talking about truly believe something, one thing Mark Wolff always says is: Natural food first. Yes, 32Gi is a great supplement, people are doing crazy endurance events, or any sporting events, you know that support and having that extra nutrition is important. But eating clean is something you guys tell people, even when you’re at events or at things. That’s almost as important as supplementing their diet with something like a 32Gi product.
NH: Completely and one thing about Mark, I’ve always remembered about him, he says: Once you put something in your mouth, you lose all control of your body. It’s very true, what you put into you fuels you. I’m a firm believer of watching what you eat, making sure you eat the correct things, especially when you’re in a competitive sports space. Because that can impact on a race, most definitely.
DK: I caught up with you last at the 94.7 Cycle Challenge here in Johannesburg on my video blog. You guys really do attend a lot of events, you attend a lot of expos. That’s important for a brand who is involved in events. People want to see you, they want to have that coverage, they want to be able to come and ask questions. Looking at this year, I presume it’s going to be par for the course? You’re going to be at some of the big events around the country and possibly internationally?
Our great line-up of events in 2017
NH: Yes, most definitely. Our ‘big ticket’ items for this year is the Trinity Series, which we’re always very involved with. I love it, I think it pulls in the amateurs to the professionals, so for us that’s a ‘big ticket’ event for us.
We’re doing a lot of the Spur School Series, I believe that healthy eating and the competitive sports base for children is very important. So we’re influenced in the Spur School Series and it’s something we’ve been involved with for years.
The MiWay Triathlon Series, there are four of them this year, which we signed a two-year partnership with. So we’re very excited to see the upcoming of that, the first one is the fifth of March in Durban. Then we’re doing Tour de Tuli.
A big thing for us now is our running club, launched last year. We’re seeing the membership just fly through which is always incredible. Because for us, to see people involved in sports from any community is a very big thing. It’s nice for us as a brand to be able to support them.
In terms of expos, we have the MiWay Series expos, Ironman Durban, Ironman PE. Then Soweto Marathon which actually started their first expo last year which we saw as an amazing thing for us to do again. Then again, 94.7 which is always just a great thing.
Watch our star athletes shine in 2017
DK: The two big running events in South Africa, I know you generally have a big presence there as well, the Old Mutual Two Oceans and the Comrades Marathon. Runners are really something, it’s a product that has taken off in the running industry.
NH: Oh yes, we’ll definitely be at the Two Oceans, for us that’s one of our most affluent athletes are there. Mark also seconds a lot of them with the likes of Caroline Wostmann, Jenna Challenor. So for us that’s very big, the whole team goes down, we’re all there to support and yes, definitely Comrades. I think Mark is hoping to take part in it, which as a team we do try and do. One of us always tries to do the events, I try to do most of them because I think as a brand to be involved in and see what people really want and need in those events. Is vitally important for the product that we provide.
DK: Sponsoring athletes is very important and as you mentioned, Caroline Wostmann, we’ve chatted to her a couple of times here on the podcast and in the 32Gi family. But at the same time it’s also good to support. You talked about the Spur School Series but also from a developmental aspect.
We talked last week to Grant Johnson from the Born2Run running club and they’ve got a fantastic model there. Where you can sign up as a runner and at the same time you can sign up to support a development athlete. I know that’s something that’s happening as well where you guys are supporting them and their development with some product as well.
Helping to develop and nurture future talent
NH: Yes, most definitely. We’re very involved with the Born2Run team. We started doing their time trials with them. Mark is doing a few nutritional talks, then the same with our running club. We sponsor a few of the children, the guys get involved with them as an upliftment programme in the community, so that’s a big thing for us. We provide product, we fuel them along the way.
We’re getting involved at the big Comrades run in April where there are various running clubs getting together to do one long run together where we’ll be fuelling the runners. As you said, it’s a big thing for upliftment, Spur School Series for us is great. You see children of all ages and categories really getting involved, the parents are involved. For us as a brand it’s to teach them to eat properly and fuel themselves correctly to avoid injury and that bonk that we all try to avoid.
DK: Very important from a young age to educate the children and as you mentioned, a lot of the education sometimes needs to start with the parents as well. If they haven’t been active and experienced in that field themselves, so very important that. Always great to see people who do put that effort in.
Not just to throw their kids out there, to go do sports. But actually focus on every aspect involved, including nutrition, very important. Talking about the 32Gi Running Club, if people are listening now and they’re thinking: I might like to join… how do they go about it and what are the benefits?
NH: There is a link on our website which you can go click on and join any, it doesn’t matter which region you’re in, we’ll support you in any way. We’ll do your licenses for you, it is R340 excluding VAT. Currently with that you get product, you get a vest and you get the support of the running team. Which I think, if I’m not mistaken, is now sitting at more than 100 runners countrywide. We’ve got a great support system in PE, Jo’burg is obviously our biggest region and yes, it’s grown exponentially.
DK: Talking here of course with Nastassja Howard from 32Gi, we’re here in the heart of their base, the warehouse downstairs, where it all happens in Johannesburg in South Africa of course. 32Gi is a brand, you’re not just a South African brand you are international as well and that support to certain events overseas. I know in 2016 there was a lot of support for the Challenge. So your markets overseas, you’re also always looking to help and inform people?
An international array of events to choose from
NH: Yes, most definitely. Currently we’ve got a few marathons and ultra-marathons that we’re supporting in Australia. We’ve got the Denmark region which is doing a few of the Challenges still. So in each region we try to push them to do the bigger and smaller events. I think it’s a big thing to start at the bottom but also be involved with those ‘big ticket’ items and us as head office are there. We do calls weekly just to support them and give them the tools that they need.
DK: Nastassja, having worked now for 32Gi since October. A lot of people, I know you were on the product before, would have been on the product. But having worked now with the company and yes, they’ll tell people it’s free of additives and no artificial sweeteners. But having worked, having really been in the heartbeat and gotten to know it. What are some of the key things you learnt about the 32Gi brand?
NH: I have to be honest with you, because I’ve always been with the product. Working here now you see that everyone here live, eats, sleeps the brand. From Mark who eats the most clean I think I’ve ever seen anyone eat. He really is just an inspiration to anyone in terms of sports and eating.
The product really works, it really does work. From using it previously, from using it in my first run, my first triathlon. You never get a reaction to it, you don’t hit that spike at all which I think is the most important thing. Because remember in life, what goes up must come down. I think that is our biggest thing, that we don’t spike.
Children can use it, there’s no colourants. So I think for me the biggest thing that I’ve learnt is that it really does work. The care and time that goes into the product, from the warehouse staff to the financial team to the sales, it really is just a die-hard brand.
DK: If you’re looking for advice or any help, there’s lots of information on the 32Gi.com website. If there’s more you want to know, if you want to pose some questions here to us on the podcast you can email coach@32Gi.com. But from Nastassja Howard and myself Mr Active, David Katz, we’ll be back soon on the podcast. Thanks for listening to 32Gi Sports Nutrition.