Product innovation isn’t just about the product itself, but also the context into which the product is inserted.
This is a concept we’ve come to embrace more throughout our experiences with PRōZE CBD products and the team behind them.
Sure, PRōZE has highly touted CBD oils, topicals, and even gum, but just as important as their products are the new places and people to whom they’ve brought them—namely, athletic communities.
We’d like to use the example of PRōZE as a case study for an often overlooked element in the CBD world: pioneering new uses for what’s already there to share the benefits of CBD with a new audience.
For PRōZE, this philosophy was formed naturally as influential people from all walks of life began praising their products.
We spoke with several of these early supporters, including the PRōZE founders, to get a closer understanding.
Key Players In the Rise of PRōZE
At the center of this effort to bring the wellness-affirming benefits of CBD to high-performance athletes is PRōZE founder Sanjeev Javia.
Sanjeev “Jeevers” Javia
Jeevers had been working in nutritional supplement development for upwards of two decades before forming PRōZE in September of 2019.
Not long after Jeevers and co-founder Jim Silliman got started, the positive feedback from high-profile athletes started rolling in.
Jeevers capitalized on this wave of support, recruiting current and former professionals from various sports, including:
- Brian Griese (NFL)
- James Wisniewski (NHL)
- Nic Lamb (Surfing)
- Becky Quinn (Cycling)
- Tom Pernice Jr (PGA Pro)
These relationships helped to raise the brand’s credibility while posturing PRōZE (and CBD in general) for what was then a virtually untapped audience.
The infectious enthusiasm of Jeevers for all things nutrition, health, and people—not just CBD—was a major driving force behind this successful marriage of PRōZE and high-performance athletes.
“I want people to get excited about being part of PRōZE because they are going to get all of this information that they didn’t pay for. I’m going to tell you the best ways to cook vegetables to retain nutrient value,” he told us with a laugh.
Jeevers and crew don’t seem to care if this added content affects the bottom line or not, which is one reason PRōZE is in a class of its own.
Co-Founder Dr. Jim Silliman
As mentioned, co-founder Dr. Jim Silliman has been an integral part of PRōZE since the beginning.
An accomplished sports medicine orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Silliman first became curious about Sanjeev after several of the high-level athletes he worked with told him that Sanjeev was creating nutrition plans for them.
Dr. Silliman found out soon after meeting Jeevers that their motivations were more closely aligned than he thought.
“Part of my interest in the entire career (orthopedic surgery) was the opioid crisis,” said Dr. Silliman. “Orthopedic surgeons were the third-largest prescribers of narcotics in the nation, and patients were struggling to get off the narcotics. Children and friends and relatives were using them if they had any left over.”
Dr. Silliman has railed against this modern medical establishment’s abuse of opioids from the inside, giving lectures about opioid-sparing surgery, and the genetics of addiction, devoting much of his career to combating this growing crisis with an emphasis on athletic populations.
It was on one of these anti-opioid panels that Dr. Silliman met a pain management physician from Southern California who was using CBD with his opioid-addicted patients.
After doing his own research on CBD, Dr. Silliman realized its potential, and he knew the best person to bring it to was the nutritional formulator who set up the nutrition science center at his South Carolina practice: Jeevers.
That’s how the stage was set—from that point on, Dr. Silliman and Jeevers teamed up on CBD-based and other formulations, eventually forming PRōZE.
Their shared passion for serving athletes with natural alternatives to pain and performance-related drugs was evident in their very first product, PRōZE CBD gum, which was highly successful among pro golfers.
We spoke with former NFL quarterback and current Monday Night Football announcer (as well as PRōZE ambassador) Brian Griese, who played for the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Chicago Bears from 1998 to 2008, to learn more about how he became acquainted with CBD, Jeevers, and PRōZE.
Brian and Sanjeev met through a mutual friend (Brian’s dorm mate and Sanjeev’s high school friend) at the Michigan dorms in their freshman year, eventually becoming close friends.
“From the time that I was playing at Michigan to playing in the National Football League for eleven years, I’ve always talked with him about nutrition and being as healthy as you possibly can,” said Griese. “Not just from a supplement standpoint, but also the daily rhythm of life—how you eat, sleep, and take care of yourself.”
While Brian wasn’t actively seeking out CBD before Jeevers began incorporating it into his formulations, he soon became interested in the compound.
Brian noted cases of teammates (like cannabis supporter and former NFL running back Ricky Williams) and other players in the league who used cannabis (and risked penalization) in the early 2000s, remarking on how big of an impact the recent focus on CBD has made on athletes.
“CBD has become something that is more trusted. There’s more education and awareness of the health benefits of CBD,” said Griese.
All along, it was Sanjeev guiding him through this newfound appreciation of the cannabis-based compound, which he expresses through his partnership with PRōZE.
“It’s been a 25-year relationship and friendship,” said Griese. “I’m really proud of what he’s done and how he’s grown as a person, but also as a nutritionist, helping people with some of the most important things in their lives.”
Thirteen-year NHL veteran and PRōZE ambassador James Wisniewski can attest firsthand to the dangers of opioid/sedative use for high-level athletes.
When we asked about the recovery regimen he followed during his time in the NHL, James began rattling off drugs.
“Pharmaceuticals weren’t really frowned upon. Trainers had those. Ambien was handed out like skittles when we were coming off the bus during road trips to help us get some sleep,” explained Wisniewski.
He went on to explain to us that his trainers were equally freehanded in their regular and completely legal distribution of opioid narcotics like percocet, vicodin, and other drugs to help players with pain.
While Wisniewski was fortunate to avoid opioid addiction, he did foster a reliance on alcohol after his career ended to help with the pain.
It was his relationship with Sanjeev, whom he met through mutual friends in Denver, that opened his eyes to the potential of CBD for helping current and ex-athletes deal with not just pain, but sleep issues, stress, anxiety, and depression as well.
The unfortunate truth that James clued us in on when describing the importance of CBD for this population is two-fold.
First, athletes and non-athletes are equally vulnerable to the predatory practices of big pharma, a network of companies that works to suppress non-addictive alternatives to their products.
Secondly, professional athletes have to deal with another layer of exploitation, which is the leagues themselves trying to squeeze as much performance out of each player without regard to the impact on their longevity and overall health.
This is why we recognize PRōZE—they’re actively infiltrating these affected communities and fighting these addiction-for-profit machines with everything they’ve got.
It’s why athletes like James Wisniewski aren’t silent about their use of PRōZE SHIELD, NODZZZ, and other products.
“You can’t copyright a plant,” James poignantly stated in reference to the greater profitability of synthetic opioids over natural compounds like CBD, but PRōZE is refusing to play victim to the system.
The pro-CBD testimony of world-class trainer Spencer Tatum is especially valuable to PRōZE and the industry at large because Mr. Tatum does not mess around with wishy-washy, subjectively variable performance boosters.
No, if you’re going to train the likes of Jon Rahm, the number one golfer in the world, you need result-driven methods and products.
Like many not directly involved in the CBD industry, Spencer first heard of the compound sometime around late 2017 or early 2018.
He knew that NFL players were starting to invest in CBD and THC products for recovery purposes, which was of course a top priority of his as a trainer who has worked with thousands of athletes.
At that point, Spencer had already known Jeevers for nearly a decade (met in 2009), but it wasn’t until Jeevers called him in 2019 and convinced him to give CBD a personal test run that Spencer really began to appreciate it.
After he felt the effects for himself and researched CBD some more, he knew he had to incorporate it into his methodology.
Now, he uses NERVE, SHIELD, NODZZZ, and GUMEEZ with his athletes to help with sleep, stress, and the all-important issue of recovery.
The role of CBD in promoting recovery for a professional athlete, per Spencer, is not to sloppily mask the pain, but to “help people get out of fight or flight,” which is why he prefers the more natural approach of CBD over the jarring effects of harsher pharmaceuticals.
What Makes PRōZE Different?
We’ve established the value of CBD for athletes, but how is PRōZE any different than other CBD brands?
Aside from their above-and-beyond advocacy efforts in athletic as well as veteran communities, PRōZE stands out in their botanical-rich formulations.
CBD may be the main focus, but thanks to Sanjeev and Dr. Silliman’s formulation chops and orthopedic medicine expertise, PRōZE has brought in an entire cast of supporting herbs, essential oils, minerals, and other players for powerful, synergistic effects that address more issues.
Finally, if you’re going to take on the pharmaceutical industry, it’s important to fall out of the negative reinforcement habit when introducing and promoting new products.
While it’s important to focus on the negative (e.g. stress, pain, sleep issues, etc.) to an extent, Jeevers would be wagging a finger at us if we neglected the importance of mindset.
In other words, it’s more important for athletes and non-athletes alike to focus on what they stand to gain by embracing the healing power of CBD, because keeping your mindset in a positive place is the mark of a professional.