We’ve talked before about liquor brands that celebrities get involved with, including the good, the bad and the ugly. Usually when we hear about a new celeb liquor, we roll our eyes and ignore the bottles when we see them on shelves. But sometimes, the booze and celebrity collaborations grab our attention. The most recent example: Diageo buying tequila brand DeLeon with Diddy, as well as a rebranding of Justin Timberlake’s tequila “901” with the help of Beam Inc.


The details of these two deals are different, and we’ll discuss that in a second, but the overall theme is what we really have our eye on: the tequila market is booming in the United States and as widespread interest grows, big names are joining the tequila party.


The partnership between Diddy and Diageo is an extension of their already existing relationship and Diddy’s ability to gain support for luxury brands. He has already been working with Diageo on Ciroc and now that they’ve acquired DeLeon, they’ll have a luxury tequila brand to add to their portfolio. DeLeon is not cheap and it’s not the type of tequila college students will be grabbing for shots to pre-game; priced from $120.00 to over $1,000 per bottle, DeLeon is considered ultra-premium and is distributed in 18 U.S. states as well as D.C. “The joint venture… is Diageo’s latest step towards returning to a leading position in tequila in North America,” said Larry Schwartz, President of Diageo North America. If we know Diddy, he’ll make it happen.


When it comes to Justin Timberlake, he laid the groundwork for his tequila pairing with Beam. Justin launched his “901” tequila in 2009 (a nod to his hometown’s area code), and now he’s partnering with Beam Inc. for a makeover of sorts under their Sauza name. The actual tequila will remain unchanged, but the name will now be “Sauza 901” and will be jointly owned by Timberlake and Beam Inc. Also, instead of competing with Diddy’s tequila in the ultra-premium sector, Sauza 901 will be placed in the super premium category. Super premium has seen the strongest growth when it comes to tequila and Sauza 901 will be about $30 a bottle. Sorry Diddy, but JT’s tequila is more our financial speed.


Although these two tequila brands have famous faces behind them, we think there’s room for both of them in the market since they’re trying to attract different drinkers. All of you luxury yacht owners can afford a bottle of DeLeon while us normal folk will enjoy a bottle of 901 Sauza.


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