The entertainment industry isn’t what it used to be. Today, people spend more time scrolling through their Instagram feeds or binge-watching TikTok videos than they do watching movies or cable TV. Many celebrities who once thrived off movie sales are now seeking alternative ways to make money, including launching tequila companies.
The alcoholic beverage market isn’t one to ignore. Despite the hurdles the COVID-19 pandemic raised, the spirits industry thrived. In 2020, alcoholic beverage sales reached $222 billion, and by 2021, spirits nearly outsold beer. What celebrities have dabbled in the spirits industry? Are any dominating the market?
These 6 celebrities launched their own tequila brands
These success stories may leave you wanting to invest in the spirits industry. However, remember to conduct thorough research before closing any deals.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock,” has shaken the spirits industry up with his tequila brand Teremana Tequila. At the beginning of Feb. 2022, Johnson announced via Instagram to his 299 million followers that his company was on track to sell 650,000 cases this year, though he had nearly reached that goal at the time of his posting. Although Teremana is just under two years old, Celebrity Net Worth estimates its value to be somewhere around $3.5 billion.
NBA star LeBron James became an investor and shareholder of Los Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal in 2021. James appeared at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game sporting a leather satchel that carried a bottle of Lobos 1707 Extra Añejo, which sells for as much as $160, according to Business Insider. The company will be launching its Lobos 1707 Legacy Collection in spring 2022 on NTWRK, which is a mobile-first video shopping platform, but in limited supply.
Kendall Jenner launched her tequila brand, 818 Tequila, in Feb. 2021. The model and half-sibling to the Kardashian clan said the two goals she set for her brand were to be “socially aware” and “friendly to the planet,” reports Elle. With 220 million followers on Instagram alone, Jenner won’t have trouble marketing her tequila.
Although Jenner has high hopes for 818 Tequila, it has faced some backlash. In 2021, Jenner was accused of cultural appropriation, and in 2022, her company K & Soda LLC was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit. Tequila 512 is accusing Jenner’s 818 Tequila of copying its logo and color scheme.
Singer, songwriter, and actor Justin Timberlake launched his own version of Sauza Liquors back in 2009 after taking a trip to a distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, according to Forbes. Timberlake’s re-launch of the tequila brand allowed him to give the beverage a more personal name, Sauza 901, with 901 representing the singer’s “hometown area code in Memphis, Tenn.” Given Timberlake’s position in the entertainment industry and 63.8 million Instagram followers, it's safe to say his tequila brand is doing well.
George Clooney and Rande Gerber
Then, in 2017, an opportunity presented itself, and Clooney and his partner sold Casamigos to Diageo for $1 billion. While Diageo agreed to pay $700 outright, the company structured the deal so that the remaining $300 would be paid “based on the tequila’s performance over 10 years.”