by Christian Duque
As news spread that A Force of Nature Blessing Awodibu won Dave Bowers 2022 IFBB Pro League Indy Pro, it seemed the social media influencer was on top of the world. Everyone was talking about him all throughout the various Facebook groups and all over Instagram. Many pundits also took to YouTube where they discussed the many possibilities that lay ahead for the Irish bodybuilder. A great many of the talking heads reminisced about Blessing’s very entertaining rivalry with The Mutant Nick Walker.
For many in the industry, bodybuilding has the tendency to get boring. There’s only so much you can do with just lifting and posing. If you’ve ever attended a bodybuilding contest, you know that redundancy can make even the most hardcore fan fall asleep. The reality of the matter is that Blessing’s win put him on the map. Not only wasn’t he the favorite to win but he fought hard against guys with far more buzz going into the contest than him.
Just as I predicted in last week’s article for IM, Blessing has been inundated with messages and media interés since the big victory. It’s like everyone raced to their Instagram to post shots with him and pledge their unwavering support. All that being said Blessing got dropped by his longtime sponsor RedCon1 shortly after his big win in Indy. The news stunned us all. No one would ever expect a supplement sponsor to drop an athlete after winning a bodybuilding show. It simply makes no sense.
The 2022 Indy Pro Champ has been largely quiet about the circumstances concerning his break with the company founded and formerly run by Aaron Singerman. This could be due to the fact that RC1 sponsors a number of competitions and events throughout the fitness industry. It could also be due to the fact that Awodibu is too busy studying offers from other would-be sponsors and doesn’t want to seem petty. Many companies will want to strike the iron while it’s still hot and Blessing’s big win continues to be the talk of the town.
With the NY Pro just days away, it’s only a matter of time until the buzz around Indy subsides. Unlike other pro’s who might hunker down and lay low for the months to come before the Olympia, Blessing has intensified his presence on social media. The question about his break with Redcon will only become more of a focal point until clarifications are made. A great many insiders speculate that the company may be experiencing financial woes and that Awodibu being cut is just the tip of the iceberg. Although the brand is visible in a number of stores and websites, that doesn’t really speak to their financial stability or their ability to generate enough profits to offset their numerous financial obligations.
Aaron Singerman didn’t do RC1 many favors. Not only did he flip at the eleventh hour and insult the government at a party, he then embarrassed himself and his company when he was arrested twice for DUI’s during the weeks awaiting sentencing. Although Singerman left a successor of sorts as President of the company, Redcon will always be associated with him.
With all that being the case many insiders wonder if Aaron is still calling the shots from prison. While there’s certainly a possibility of that, it’s highly unlikely in my opinion. If anything, I think Aaron was probably the one that kept Blessing on board and now we will see a series of athlete and tier operator changes. With Recon being under new management and the industry returning to normal after the pandemic, it’s anyone’s guess who stays and who goes. Money is a huge factor. I can’t reiterate that enough.
Just because a company looks solvent doesn’t mean it is. I’m not sitting here telling you that RC1 is going to go broke, but I am saying things might not be as hunky dory as their cheerleaders let on. When you compare money in vs money going out, I’d be very concerned about a company that’s constantly dropping prices and giving away freebies just to generate sales. Also, the fact RC1 is at places like Walmart, doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Being on shelves wherever you go is only smart if you’re seeing nice returns. Places like Walmart and GNC have set policies for inventory, sales, shelf positioning and returns. Once business owners take a closer look, many opt against it.
You can make more money selling direct or through online retailers than bowing down to unfavorable terms with retail brick-and-mortar giants. This is another reason GNC’s are disappearing but I digress.
My heart goes out to Blessing. He did what he was supposed to do. He’s tirelessly promoting on social media and he won one of the biggest bodybuilding contests in the Midwest. Almost anytime I see him he’s either wearing Redcon clothing or plugging Redcon products. Unless there’s something we don’t know, I’d say A Force Of Nature got royally screwed. And while he has a great deal of talent, there’s no guarantee he’ll get signed by another supplement sponsor. Companies these days don’t really sign bodybuilders anymore. They might sign a social media influencer or they might give a bunch of competitors free products, but the days of signing top bodybuilders for big paydays are largely over. Even his last few years competing, 7x Mr. Olympia Phil Heath didn’t have a supplement sponsor. That could also be attributed to the fact he was extremely arrogant and self-centered. The reality is Blessing needs to focus on the 2022 Olympia, not trying to find a sponsor.
A great many fans saw what A Force Of Nature did in Indianapolis and they believe that’s precisely the caliber of athlete that can break into the prestigious Olympia Top 6. A lot of the top guys either have the look or they don’t. Many have lost the hunger they had in the amateur ranks. If you ever watch The Nationals or The USA’s, you’ll see competitors battle all throughout the prejudging and the finals. They want to place as high as possible and they want to earn the judges’ attention. At the top tier of the pro level, guys will do a little “battling” during the posedown but that’s largely for the photographers and to get a reaction from the audience. Otherwise, they just tend to drag their feet on stage and try to stay awake. If a guy like Blessing fought hard in Vegas and gave 110%, he just might surpass guys like Nick Walker and Hunter Labrada. This is why so many people are so excited!!
In the end, we don’t know who ordered Blessing to be dropped. Did Aaron order it? Did he approve it? Does he even know? Whatever the reason may have been, I suspect we’ll never know. I also suspect insiders are scrambling to find out what’s going on with RC1 on countless boards and groups. Many have already delved into conversations relative to the future of the brand. Can Redcon survive without Aaron? What say you? Was the decision to drop Blessing Awodibu justified or was it indicative of an uncertain future for a company that might not make it?