Current Issue / DU Alumni

Alumnus tastes success with SPORTea

H. Keys Allan

H. Keys Allan

H. Keys Allan, MBA ’70, says he’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Which is why in 1987, when he saw a table-tent advertisement for SPORTea — an energizing drink with no sugar, calories or artificial sweeteners — he knew he was on to something.

“I’ve always felt that I’ve been blessed with vision and a sense of where things are going to go,” says Allan, explaining how he saw the beverage’s potential in the growing specialty-food market. “I thought, ‘This is a product people are looking for in the 90s and

After a successful business career, Allan says he and his wife, Elizabeth, were looking for something to do together.

“We had been running all over the country and wanted to settle down, have a family and do something that wouldn’t be quite as demanding,” says Allan, who divides his time between California and Colorado.

A family-run business seemed just the ticket.

The couple bought SPORTea from the Boulder herbalist who created the beverage. Then they repackaged and repositioned it.

“We built SPORTea up while we raised our family,” says Allan, whose three children — ages 18, 15 and 7 — all help out in the company.

Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., SPORTea is sold nationwide in coffee shops, athletic clubs, delis, specialty grocery stores and even in fine-dining restaurants. Allan says the tea’s “slightly citrus-sweet” taste and its health benefits are what make it a success. The tea provides natural energy without the caffeine and sugar crashes that can come with other alternative drinks, he adds.

“SPORTea is like water with good stuff in it,” Allan says. “It’s like putting good engine oil in your car. Your car runs more effi ciently, but you didn’t soup it up in any way. You just helped facilitate its performance.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *