Business BasicsFailure in MLM

ESPN the Magazine on Advocare

Yesterday ESPN published an article about AdvoCare, Drew Brees Has A Dream He’d Like To Sell You. AdvoCare is a typical multi-level marketing (MLM) company. It focuses on selling a “business opportunity” and uses nutritional products to make it appear as thought they’re not promoting a pyramid scheme. Unfortunately, more than 99% of participants in MLM lose money, making it a “business opportunity” that is even worse than gambling at a casino.

Mina Kimes did an outstanding job of digging into AdvoCare’s empty promises to distributors. It’s a long article, so I’m going to pull out some of the most interesting excerpts for you. Here is one of the most important things to remember: ESPN has nothing to gain from misleading you. They don’t care one way or another if AdvoCare or any other MLM is a legitimate opportunity.  AdvoCare, on the other hand, lives or dies by the public perception… they are fully invested in consumers believing that they push a good and beneficial opportunity.

On selling hope:

AdvoCare, which has used athlete endorsers and event sponsorships to cultivate deep ties to the sports world, portrays itself as a company that “offers the average American the chance to make an above-average income,” but, in truth, only a tiny percentage of salespeople ever make significant money.

Slight correction: Only a tiny percentage of MLM salespeople ever make any profits.

Read the rest of my article here.



  1. Do the usual math …
    Annual revenues / Number of reps = share of the revenues
    $719,000,000 / 640,000 = $1,124

    So … the average income per rep is a whopping $93/month?

    Sign me up!

    Note: no matter the MLM, when you do that calculation above, they all have the same result … about $1000-1500/ year per representative.

  2. Boy, these MLMs will stoop to new lows.

    And shame on Drew Brees for falling for this crap! What a way to ruin his image by having it associated with this pyramid scam

  3. Whenever I go to an event with table/kiosk rentals, I feel sorry for all the venders of mlm products. They always look bored. It doesn’t matter if it is MK, tupperware, Arbonne, Pampered Chef etc., they have paid for a table and women are avoiding them. The word is out because of how many women were scammed by all these pyramid schemes.

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