Sportron International Review: No purchase, no $$$
I ran into some confusion when I began to research this review, after I discovered that there appears to be two Sportron Internationals.
One refers to itself as “Sportron, targeted nutrition”, operates from “sportroninternational.com”, operate out of Texas in the US and have a single-level affiliate program (non-MLM).
The other refers to itself as “Sportron International, the wellness company” and are based out of Johannesburg in South Africa.
This company is a subsidiary of Ascendis Health and offer an MLM business opportunity.
Ascendis Health doesn’t appear anytwhere on the US Sportron site and the two companies have different logos, leading me to believe they are two independent entities with the same name.
For clarification, this review is about the South African Sportron International, who operate from “sportron.co.za”.
Founded in 1992, Sportron International has been headed up by CEO Cornelle van Graan (right) since 2011.
As per Van Graan’s corporate bio:
Ms. Cornelle Van Graan is Chief Executive Officer at Sportron International, Inc., Chief Executive Officer at Regal Nutrients (Pty) Ltd., and Head-Direct Selling at Ascendis Health Ltd.
Ms. Van Graan was previously employed as Chief Financial Officer by Sara Lee Household & Body Care BV, a Managing Director by Avroy Shlain Cosmetics, and a Sales Associate by Table Charm.
Van Graan is also the CEO of Swiss Garde, an MLM opportunity, who claim on their website they were founded in 1991 by Lou Bayhack.
Interestingly enough there’s no mention of Van Graan or Ascendis Health on the Swiss Garde website. Swiss Garde is also not listed as a brand on the Ascendis Health website.
Van Graan’s credit as CEO appears in a puff piece dated August 25th, 2015, acknowledging Swiss Garde affiliates.
The Achievers, as recipients are called, not only received multiple awards and recognition, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Cornelle Van Graan, said their efforts also transformed into increase in their monthly earnings through their networking.
Not sure what the story is there, but it seems Van Graan has her thumb in a few MLM pies.
Read on for a full review of the Sportron International MLM business opportunity.
The Sportron International Product Line
Sportron International market a wide range of products across the health and wellness and personal care niches.
Full retail pricing is available on the Sportron International website, which products listed in the following categories:
- Nutricare (nutrition)
- personal care
- derma-active (skin) and
The Sportron International Compensation Plan
Sportron International offer affiliates retail commissions, with residuals paid out through a unilevel compensation structure.
Shares in performance and rank based bonus pools are also available.
As per the Sportron International website, all affiliates must spend approximately R350 a month ($24.50) to qualify for commissions:
All you need to do once you have filled out a registration form is to buy your monthly Sportron products to the value of 100PPP per month this will roughly cost you +/- R350 and this will insure (sic) that you can actively receive a monthly income.
Note that “PPP” stands for “Personal Product Points”, and is basically a renaming of Personal Volume (PV).
PV is sales volume generated by retail sales orders and an affiliate’s own personal purchase of product.
Sportron International Affiliate Ranks
There are eleven ranks within the Spotron International compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Consultant – maintain 100 PV a month
- Manager – maintain six recruited affiliates, 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 8000 GV
- Senior Manager – maintain six recruited affiliates (one of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 15,000 GV
- Group Manager – maintain six recruited affiliates (two of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 22,000 GV
- National Manager – maintain six recruited affiliates (two of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 30,000 GV
- Director – maintain six recruited affiliates (three of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 50,000 GV
- Senior Director – maintain ten recruited affiliates (four of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 75,000 GV
- Executive Director – maintain twelve recruited affiliates (five of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 125,000 GV
- National Sales Director – maintain fifteen recruited affiliates (seven of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 375,000 GV
- Vice President – maintain twenty recruited affiliates (ten of which must be at the Manager rank), 100 PV a month and have a monthly downline sales volume of at least 650,000 GV
GV stands for “Group Volume” and is PV generated by an affiliate’s downline. In Spotron International, GV is counted down eight levels of recruitment.
Note that Team Manager to Executive Director ranks must be qualified at for two consecutive months before an affiliate is ranked.
National Sales Director and National Vice President require three consecutive months of qualification.
Retail commissions are paid out at a rate of 30% on a customer’s first month order(s).
Any additional orders then attract an 8% commission.
Residual commissions in Sportron International are paid out via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Sportron International cap payable unilevel levels at eight, with commissions paid out as a percentage of the sales volume generated on each level.
How many levels a Sportron International affiliate earns on is determined by their rank:
- Consultant – 4% on level 1, 6% on level 2 and 8% on level 3
- Manager – 4% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 8% on level 3 and 5% on level 4
- Team Manager to National Manager – 4% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 8% on level 3 and 5% on levels 4 and 5
- Director – 4% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 8% on level 3 and 5% on levels 4 to 6
- Senior Director – 4% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 8% on level 3 and 5% on levels 4 to 7
- Executive Director or higher – 4% on level 1, 6% on level 2, 8% on level 3 and 5% on levels 4 to 8
Extended Residual Commissions
Upon qualifying at the Director or higher rank, the following bonus percentages are paid out on a Sportron International affiliate’s entire unilevel team volume:
- Director – 2%
- Senior Director – 2.25%
- Executive Director – 2.5%
- National Sales Director – 2.75%
- National Vice President – 3%
Note that these percentages pay out down an infinite depth on the unilevel team.
Specific qualification criteria for Extended Residual Commissions increases with a Sportron International affiliate’s rank as follows:
- Director – recruit and maintain at least three Team Manager ranked affiliates
- Senior Director – recruit and maintain at least four Team Manager ranked affiliates
- Executive Director – recruit and maintain at least five Team Manager ranked affiliates
- National Sales Director – recruit and maintain at least five Senior Manager ranked affiliates
- National Vice President – recruit and maintain at least five Group Manager ranked affiliates
The Builder’s Pool consists of 3% of Sportron International’s company-wide sales volume.
Affiliates earn a share in the pool per affiliate they recruit.
If a personally recruited affiliate qualifies as a Manager within two months of joining, six bonus shares are awarded.
First Order Bonus
If a newly recruited affiliate makes product orders in their first month, the recruiting affiliate earns a 30% bonus on the generated sales volume.
The First Order Bonus is paid out on up to 500 PV of volume. Any excess bonus volume generated is paid out as a 30% rebate to the purchasing affiliate.
Rank Achievement Bonus
Sportron International affiliates earn a Rank Achievement Bonus when they qualify at any of the following ranks:
- Team Manager – R1000 ($70 USD)
- Senior Manager – R1500 ($105 USD)
- Group Manager – R2000 ($140 USD)
- National Manager – R2500 ($175 USD)
- Director – R5000 ($350 USD)
- Senior Director – R7500 ($525 USD)
- Executive Director – R10,000 ($700 USD)
- National Sales Director – R35,000 ($2450 USD)
- National Vice-President – R100,000 ($7000 USD)
Note that Director, Senior Director and Executive Director ranks must be maintained for two consecutive months.
National Sales Director and National Vice-President ranks must be maintained for three consecutive months.
Leadership Progression Pool
The Leadership Progression pool is made up of 2.75% of Sportron International’s company-wide sales volume.
This 2.75% is split into eleven pools, with affiliates qualifying for shares in each pool based on their rank:
- Team Manager’s Pool – must be Team Manager or higher
- Senior Manager’s Pool – must be Senior Manager or higher
- Group Manager’s Pool – must be Group Manager or higher
- National Manager’s Pool – must be National Manager or higher
- Director’s Pool – maintain two personally recruited affiliates who qualify as Team Managers
- Senior Director’s Pool – maintain three personally recruited affiliates who qualify as Team Managers
- Executive Director’s Pool – maintain four personally recruited affiliates who qualify as Team Managers
- National Sales Director’s Pool – maintain five personally recruited affiliates who qualify as Team Managers
- National Vice President – maintain five personally recruited affiliates who qualify as Team Managers
Shares in each pool are acquired when a personally recruited affiliate qualifies as a Manager (max three shares).
Additional shares are then earned per personally recruited affiliate who has qualified as a Team Manager.
An undisclosed percentage of Sportron International’s company-wide sales volume is put into the Chairman’s Club.
Sportron International describe the Chairman’s Club as being ‘a lucrative and prestigious reward for exceptional achiever‘.
Chairman’s Club qualification criteria largely revolves around Leadership Points, which are calculated based on the rank of recruited affiliates as follows:
- Manager – 25 points
- Team Manager – 100 points
- Senior Manager – 200 points
- Group Manager – 300 points
- National Manager – 400 points
- Director – 600 points
- Senior Director – 900 points
- Executive Director or higher – 1500 points
To qualify for a share in the Chairman’s Club, a Sportron affiliate must
- rank at Executive Director or higher
- recruit and maintain at least five affiliates who are at the National Manager or higher rank
- accumulate a total of 4000 Leadership Points through personal recruitment of new affiliates
- maintain a downline generating who collectively generate at least 250,000 Leadership Points
Qualification for the Chairman’s Club is good for three months.
Joining Sportron International
Affiliate membership with Sportron International is free itself, however in order to qualify for commissions an affiliate must purchase at least 100 PV a month in products.
Sportron International estimate this will cost R350 ($24.50 USD).
I’m really not sure what’s going on with Sportron outside of Africa. Jebb Babener’s MLMLaw cites a Sportron Select launching in 1992, which appears to be the precursor to Sportron International.
This company began operations in the US and then expanded into Africa and elsewhere in their first year of operations.
Sportron International itself today only lists offices in Africa, however the US and UK websites are still online.
There’s no mention of the MLM opportunity on either website, suggesting the Sportron International opportunity is today inactive in those markets.
Strange then that they’d leave the websites up. Also strange that CEO Cornelle van Graan is involved in multiple African-based MLM companies, with there being no formal acknowledgement of it.
In any event, on the business side of things the biggest red flag in Sportron International is the required product purchase for commission qualification.
All you need to do once you have filled out a registration form is to buy your monthly Sportron products to the value of 100PPP per month this will roughly cost you +/- R350 and this will insure that you can actively receive a monthly income.
In MLM commission qualification, if any, should be based on sales performance rather than how much an affiliate spends each month.
Retail commissions are available, but there are no retail volume qualifiers in the Sportron International compensation plan.
This leads me to believe that affiliates are likely just focusing on recruitment.
Monthly purchase of product and recruitment of other Sportron International affiliates will eventually max out the compensation plan, requiring no focus on retail sales.
For obvious reasons, this is a problem.
Sportron International itself has a robust product line, although how competitive it is in African markets versus the competition I can’t say.
On their website, Sportron International write
Often people ask, “Why should I take Sportron products?”
The answer is simple. They WORK!
They not only work, but the results can be miraculous. Thousands of testimonies arrive at the Sportron office everyday.
Details of the purported miracles taking place, that Sportron claim to receive “thousands” of testimonies daily about are not disclosed.
What’s particularly concerning is, even with inherent chain-recruitment autoship issues, Sportron International has been ‘an active member of the (South African) DSA for 17 years‘.
Worse still, Cornelle van Graan is the DSA’s Vice-Chairman.
Why Sportron International’s mandatory affiliate purchases did not trigger a compliance review at the DSA is unclear.
With pay to play largely frowned on within the MLM industry though, I’d be approaching Spotron International affiliate membership with caution.
Last thing you want to do is get lured in by free affiliate membership with a monthly order, only to find out your core source of income will be recruiting others who also have to commit to a minimum monthly purchase.