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Athletes embracing plant-forward diet

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Some of the biggest names in sports, from Kyrie Irving to Chris Paul, are investing in Beyond Meat after discovering the power of plant-based eating. More than anyone, athletes intuitively understand the connection between what they put in their body and how it performs, and these powerhouses are betting that Beyond Meat is The Future of Protein.

The new Beyond Meat investors and ambassadors include Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Paul, DeAndre Hopkins, Victor Oladipo, Lindsey Vonn, DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee, Harrison Barnes, Malcolm Jenkins, Derrick & Charity Morgan, Alex Honnold, Shaun White and Luke Walton. These athletes join existing Beyond Meat shareholders JJ Redick, Tony Gonzales, Leonardo DiCaprio, Thomas Middleditch, David Wright, Eric Bledsoe, Maya Moore, Tia Blanco, April Ross and Maggie Vessey, as well as forward-thinking celebrities Snoop Dogg, Common, Jessica Chastain, Liza Koshy and Nicole Williams in championing the brand.

“At Beyond Meat, our goal is to provide consumers with plant-based meats that represent the Future of Protein — delicious, satiating protein and fuel for the body that is unburdened by health concerns increasingly associated with various animal meats,” said Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer of Beyond Meat. “It’s not surprising to see that world-class athletes who are dialed into their bodies are early adopters of plant-based meat.”

The new roster of brand champions is being unveiled as part of the brand’s new Go Beyond campaign, which spotlights the inner spirit and drive to reach the unattainable — the same spirit that created Beyond Meat and propels its mission to perfectly build meat directly from plants. Kicking off the campaign is a new video, which debuts today featuring All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving. The video chronicles Irving’s journey to greatness and the ingredients that got him to where he is today.

“After playing the amount of games, doing the amount of recovery stuff, working out as much as I do, it demands a very specific diet. Beyond Meat is the best thing that I could be a part of and it only helps me better perform as an athlete,” said Irving. “I wasn’t always the tallest or most gifted athlete, I had to work on it and in the process of working on my craft, it meant going beyond what everyone else was doing — breaking free of the mold to go beyond what was expected of me. I’m truly elated to be a part of Beyond Meat, a company that’s growing exponentially and doing it in a way that’s connecting people not just to great food, but to an incredible community.”

A part of that community is fellow basketball player, Chris Paul, who has also signed on as a Beyond investor and ambassador. Fueling his moves on and off the court, Paul incorporates Beyond Meat’s plant-based options into his diet as more than just a meal option: “I now have a Beyond Burger after every game to aid with recovery times and inflammation — it’s a game changer, literally.”

As a South Carolina native, DeAndre Hopkins was accustomed to fried, Southern fare and a meat-centric diet. However, after spending the off-seasons training in California, Hopkins changed not only his zip code but his diet, embracing a more plant-forward lifestyle. As a back-to-back All-Pro, Hopkins attributes his league-leading stats to his new eating habits.

“It honestly changed my life," he said. "It changed my body and my performance. These have been the best seasons I’ve ever had. I would say my performance on the field was a direct result of what I did off the field, how I treated my body and what I put in my body — which was primarily Beyond Meat.”