Is The Rock Trying to Make a Billion Dollars the George Clooney Way?
Perhaps not the first, but certainly the most successful, celebrity to lend his influential name to a tequila brand is George Clooney. He partnered with Rande Gerber to launch Casamigos in 2013. The friends got the idea for the company while building side-by-side vacation homes in Cabo San Lucas, according to CNBC. Just last year, Gerber and Clooney sold the brand to liquor giant Diageo for $1 billion. Since the launch of Casamigos, a whole slew of celebrities have attached their names to tequila brands, hoping to strike gold, just like Clooney. The latest is action hero Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock.
According to a report from TMZ, Johnson recently filed paperwork to secure the word Mana for the name of a tequila brand. Mana is the Polynesian term for a person’s spirit or a sacred force, which would have special significance to Johnson; he claims Samoan ancestry.
This might not just be a money grab on Johnson’s part—the actor has been open about his love of tequila. In one 2016 interview, the interviewer actually bought a bottle of the liquor as a present for him. He’s even tweeted that drinking tequila is part of his skincare routine.
Of course, he’s not the only celebrity who has jumped on the tequila bandwagon. In 2014, Justin Timberlake teamed up with the brand Sauza to launch Sauza 901 (the numbers are the area code of Memphis, where he’s from). Sean Combs (you know him better as P. Diddy) is a long-standing spokesman for Ciroc Vodka. In 2014 he partnered with Diageo and bought DeLeon Tequila to try to replicate his earlier success in the liquor industry.
And there are more: Mario Lopez (of Saved by the Bell fame) is a partner in a long time friend’s tequila company, called Casa Mexico, while Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel’s company Skinny Girl Cocktails sells a pre-mixed margarita that uses silver tequila. Even the Backstreet Boys have expressed interest in getting into the tequila business. Of course, who can forget one of the original celebrity tequila slingers, rocker Sammy Hagar and is Cabo Wabo brand.
Clearly, if you can get a celebrity to endorse your tequila, or partner with your tequila, you’re bound to turn a profit. And celebrities who are getting behind tequila might just be making a smart move in the long run: According to one report, the tequila industry is expected to generate $9 billion by 2021. Seems like Clooney was right: Tequila is a lucrative business—at least if you’re famous.