Never, never underestimate the power of a celebrity spokesperson. This is apparently the takeaway from Monday’s purchase of Davos Brands by spirits group Diageo—or, as news outlets such as Forbes are translating the sale for the rest of us, A-list actor Ryan Reynolds sold his gin brand for $610 million.
Keep in mind, Reynolds has only had an ownership stake in Aviation since 2018. He’s one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, and yet he’d have to star in 30 Deadpool sequels to make the kind of money that he saw from this week’s purchase of Davos Brands, which besides Aviation also owns Sombra Mezcal and Astral Tequila, among other brands in its “premium portfolio.” (Sounds like 30 Deadpool sequels are not entirely off the table, by the way.)
According to Forbes, the sale includes an upfront payment of $335 million, with the remaining $275 million contingent upon brand performance over the next ten years. That shouldn’t be any problem, though, since Aviation grew by over 100% in 2019 alone. (Again, having star power behind the brand contributed heavily to that success.) Reynolds’ statement on the sale read, in part:
A little over two years ago, I became an owner of Aviation Gin because I love the taste of Aviation more than any other spirit. What I didn’t expect was the sheer creative joy learning a new industry would bring. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with.
“Among the most fulfilling projects [he’s] ever been involved with”? More fulfilling than playing Detective Pikachu, or the Green Lantern, or Van Wilder, or a guy who has the immense privilege of eventually dating Sandra Bullock in The Proposal? Financially speaking, it’s probably more fulfilling than all of those combined. But how about creatively? Judging by some of Aviation’s past advertising, Reynolds really does seem to be having as much fun as he says. So, good for him, I guess. And good for the Diageo beverage company. And good for us, the gin drinkers out there, who took Hollywood’s second highest-paid actor and turned him into a multi-multi-multi-millionaire on the strength of our mighty thirst.
But Reynolds better watch out, because Hollywood’s top-paid actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has founded his own Tequila brand, Teremana, and the initial reception has been strong.