50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

In” The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” writer Dan Charnas discovers how rap originated from its obscure beginnings in the ghettos of 1970 s New York to its consummation as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that typified how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart liquid firm Glaceau, the manufacturer of VitaminWater.

50 Cent Entrepreneur

It may well have been the biggest handled in hip-hop record, spurring 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By 2003:

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album,” Get Rich or Die Tryin ‘,” had sold more than 5 million imitates, and “he’s been” readily on his style to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his occupation on the honor of being shot nine eras (a missile was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t material to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50′ s celebrity by creating several income torrents.

Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and coped with such aces as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Penny organized the “G-Unit” firebrand, including a record fellowship, a dress corporation, and a sneaker is being dealt with with Reebok’s RBK line.

The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced decorator Marc Ecko breasting the money, handling the manufacturing and dissemination, and dividing the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

marc ecko

At his Violator management company (referred after a rough crew that Lighty operated with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade eventually, he negotiated a different kind of telephone administer: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download.

Lighty inked other agreements, extremely: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures.

When relevant agencies that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with brutality, Lighty assured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business relationships was Rohan Oza, a marketing director who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y ., liquor firm called Glaceau.

Oza considered himself not a symbol manager, but a brand messiah.

He is of the opinion that passionate proselytizing of his commodities could transcend expensive corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in marketings, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” business.

He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza formed a fleet of 10″ Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the revelation of Vitamin Water’s growing line.

But hydrologists working one-on-one with customers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza involved more than brand messiahs to alter mortals.

He required firebrand representatives to influence millions.

That’s when Oza witnessed a business for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, instead sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to perform Vitamin Water massive.

It turned out that 50 Cent had a true love of the product.

He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t potion.

Instead, “he’s spent” hours per day works out, and eats healthfully.

Like Oza who got tolerated with sipping the recommendations of eight glasses of the plain sea an era, 50 had noticed Vitamin Water a more pleasurable lane to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York bureau, at that extremely time, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s is chairman of make proliferation, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their cups- much more than the 2 to three percent of the recommended daily payment in other ” augmented” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a make that they are able to make it easy to highlight such differences.

She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals.

Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new diversity: Formula 50.

What better road to collaborate, Oza hinted, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new make?

But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement lot.

He didn’t want currency.” We want to invest,” Lighty said.

 

By 2004:

By 2004, 50 Penny was definitely one of the world’s biggest pop wizards.

But it made some extent of persuading on Oza’s part to overcome the excitement of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and director Mike Repole.

50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their leader spokesperson ended up dead in a hip-hop beef?

But the 50 Penny who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was amazingly different from the rapper’s public image: appease, respected, and deliberate, without too many pretentious flourishes.

Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of an agreement.

50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned corporation, one that would graduate over the duration and escalate if the corporation is strumbled specific numbers.

The two entities- 50 Penny on one pas and Glaceau on the other- entered into an agreement of reciprocal confidentiality.

Still, the statement got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the importance of ensuring the company.

During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their brand-new produce.

Oza presented the pair with various flavor options for Formula 50.

For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded discipline of Glaceau, their produce was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational copy of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli, and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so specified because they once expenditure 25 pennies) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home.

Nonetheless, none sucked wild spices like strawberry and kiwi in the’ bonnet, because they imbibe grape. Formula 50 “must’ve been” grape.

Oza detested the comparison to such cornerstone refreshments, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water spate was announced in October 2004.

Behind the incidents, the ties between the two parties weren’t always smooth.

When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the slew, spoke of constructing the firebrand with the ultimate goal of selling it,

Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, rumbling at him for disclosing the program.

Within the next few hours, Bikoff looked up to find an indignant Lighty in its term of office, glowering at him.

Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing.” Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood one another, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Penny built a strong relationship.

Soon placards and bus stops in different regions of the country relation the images and joined the demises of two upstarts from Queens- one a scrappy, new-age liquor fellowship; the other a pugnacious, inviting rapper with a nose for possibility and a history of hitching himself to winners.

 

In 2007:

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his love Sean Combs were going together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some report over the phone.

Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur spouses, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public business, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop echoing the quantity he heard, as he gazed at Combs in incredulity.” Two hundred million?

Two hundred million?”

Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest handled in hip-hop autobiography.

Combs responded in the only nature he knew how.” I need a billion for pi,” he huffed.

But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that figurative celebration first.

Just two months afterward, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company obtained Glaceau for $4.1 billion.

In the media, initial reports applied 50 Cent’s cashout at $ 400 million, calculated by parting the acquisition sum by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share.

But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less.

Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first- the diversified Indian corporation Tata had vested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006 and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other expenditures had been rebated, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a person somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at almost a half-billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could just enclose his own incredulity at the ability of the dollar.” I took quarter-water, exchanged it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped.” Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions.

What the[ f #! k ]?” But Lighty quietly pocketed his 15 percent and deterred it from moving.

Source: addicted2success.com

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