Isagenix: Ex-NFL Wide Receiver Turned MLM Top Earner

Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash

This upcoming weekend is Super Bowl LVI, and while NFL fans are placing their bets for the big game, the LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals players are undoubtedly getting excited and nervous, there’s an ex-NFL player that’s making money a different way: through the MLM, Isagenix.

JJ Birden was a wide receiver for, most notably, the Chiefs and Falcons. He now, and for the past bunch of years, has been a top leader with Isagenix.

What is Isagenix?

Basically, they have nutrition supplements, fitness things, bars, shakes, cleanses, etc. Of course, they also have their “business opportunity.”

Associate Opportunity

“The best things in life are shared by people talking to other people, and that’s exactly what our Associates do every day. Together we have been helping hundreds of thousands of people transform their lives with our solutions-based products and business opportunity. Simply put, when you become an Isagenix Associate, we reward you for sharing the products you’ve always loved. We’ve developed the tools, training, and systems to help you with your new journey and we look forward to partnering with you.”

And the picture that’s shown directly next to this copy on their site is just… well, you can see for yourself:

A quick contradiction

In their public-facing income disclosure statement, it is stated:

“The Isagenix business is based on product sales. There is no income earned from the mere act of sponsoring or recruiting others.”

In their welcome to being an associate in Isagenix information, it is stated:

Do you see the contradiction? Because an Associate definitely makes money off of recruits.

They again include an incredible graphic which can only be described as… a shape.

This triangle-like structure is where you make the product introduction bonus, the team bonuses, and executive matching team bonuses (only if you’re an executive level Associate — the top rank).

And while I’m not doing a full deep dive on this company yet, let’s at least check out their income disclosure statement before moving onto the next section.

Isagenix 2020 Income Disclosure Statement

“In the year 2020, the average earnings of all Isagenix Associates, active and inactive, was $843 before expenses. The average earnings of all Associates who earned money from Isagenix in the year 2020 was $3,132 before expenses. Here is what the earnings of these Associates look like broken down by top 1%, top 10%, and top 50%:

The top 1% earned $178,215 (average) and $94,578 (median)

The top 10% earned $26,608 (average) and $7,427 (median)

The top 50% earned $6,146 (average) and $1,021 (median)”

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

With the basics out of the way, let’s move onto how JJ Birden plays into this.

JJ and his wife, Raina, are top earners in Isagenix. But it takes some digging to figure out where they approximately stand. I think it’s quite smart the way they promote their team, the way they almost hide being top earners, and their partnerships with other top earners.

First, when you look at JJ’s website, you’ll see myriad things about him, but no gloating about his status in Isagenix. Is it very apparent he works with/for them? Absolutely. But he’s also promoting his keynote speaker events, his book, and other things about his life. But there was one point in the network marketing section that stood out to me:

“JJ was able to partner with network marketing veteran Ben Stephenson to launch his Isagenix business and get on the fast track to success. Leaders like Ben are part of what drew JJ to Isagenix. Our top business builders are some of the best network marketers in the business. They’re not afraid to engage with their teams and help teach others to reach success like they have. Because our leaders succeed when their teams succeed, we’ve created a culture of support and learning.”

So now I had to go see who Ben Stephenson was.

Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

I immediately clicked onto the VIP Team tab on Ben’s site, where I saw JJ and Raina’s picture as VIP Team Leaders. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere.

Now at this point, you might be asking yourself why I didn’t just google if JJ Birden was a top earner with Isagenix. And to this point I tell you, I did. Their top earner lists include people’s names, however, some are just listed as their team name. So I needed to dig more to figure out what I was actually looking for. Again, considering JJ is a public figure with a decent sized following, I knew he was high up there, and I knew it would be listed somewhere in public-facing literature.

From the VIP Team Leaders page via Ben Stephenson’s site, I got to their YouTube channel, where the first video that I saw was an opportunity presentation from January 3rd, 2017, with JJ as the presenter. And in the middle (placement, not time-wise) of the video, it appeared.

So what does a 4 Star Golden Circle and 1 Star Crystal Executive even mean?

It means we’re back to Isagenix to see what these titles are.

Here’s what I found.

So I’m going to take just the 4-Star Golden Circle low and high weekly averages so that we have a basic understanding of what a top earner was making.

Low End: $3,240 x 52 weeks = $168,480/year

High End: $5,346 x 52 weeks = $277, 992/year

And that is just based on team cycle bonuses, not inclusive of Isagenix’s other ways of earning money through their opportunity.

Now, I just want to do a quick comparison.

As shown previously, Isagenix doesn’t provide their entire Associates incomes in their income disclosure statement. They do, however, provide the average and median numbers for their top 50%. So let’s use their average as $6,146.

I’ll average out the low and high end numbers from JJ’s 4-Star Golden Circle example above. That average is $223,236.

That’s quite a differentiation in yearly income. And that doesn’t account for expenses to stay active either.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

What does this all mean?

Look, I definitely don’t dislike JJ (or Raina, for that matter). After spending hours reading about them and their family — they adopted five of their nieces and nephews, on top of their 3 biological children(!!) — I really think that their hearts are good and their intentions aren’t malicious.

That being said, because JJ Birden was in the public eye as an NFL wide receiver for nine years, it was/is much easier for him to get to the top of a multi-level marketing company than most other people. Having a well-established rapport with the general public via his NFL career easily makes him seem more trustworthy than the regular person sliding into your DMs. In fact, as you can see on both his website and the VIP Team website, you can just contact them directly. And let’s be honest, people like interacting with celebrities.

And as I feel about most top earners in any MLM, famous or not, they got there because of the people they recruited. And unfortunately for most of those people, they lost money while trying to believe and pursue a losing venture.

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store