When we think of Diddy, what comes to mind? Rapper, personality, entrepreneur, mogul, Ciroc vodka? Well now there is a new phrase associated with Diddy, its DeLeon Tequila. That’s right, he and the world’s top distilled drinks company, Diageo have joined forces and powers to buy the DeLeon brand. This is the second time that the two will work together. They both merged with Ciroc Ultra-Premium vodka and it paid off exponentially the first time around. Because according to Diageo, the sales of Ciroc grew from 50,000 cases a year to nearly two million cases per year since partnering with Sean “Diddy” Combs and his Combs Wine & Spirits brand.
This is the first time that the two are going into the business on a 50/50 global partnership as stated in the Diageo press release. According to Sean Combs the Ciroc experiment was a date. In his interview with Reuters, Combs said “With Ciroc, we dated. Now with DeLeon, we’re married,” “this deal is way better. This makes me a true owner.”
Diageo was also inspired by the idea of owning another tequila brand. According to the Wall Street Journal, Diageo already owned one tequila brand, Don Julio, but has long thirsted for another high-end label that it could use as it attempts to move the Mexican spirit upscale, especially in the U.S. This will be a business venture based on the luxury tequila product line, because each bottle has a cost ranging from around $80 a bottle to over $250 dollars for their Extra Anejo version. What make this tequila so unique is that the DeLeon founder and CEO Brent Hocking refuses to use any of the allowed artificial ingredients, making DeLeon the purest tequila on record, as documented by the Consejo Regulador Del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council). While most tequilas are distilled three to five times, DeLeon is only distilled twice to preserve the natural character of the agave. The bottle itself is a heavy square glass bottle created by one of the world’s finest glassmakers, with the stopper being designed by Bill Wall and is hand carved from a one pound silver ball giving the brand its iconic design. The brands highest class of tequila, the DeLeon Tequila Anejo has been aged in 150 – 200 year old Haute Futaie French Oak for seventeen months, then finished in French Sauternes barrels from the most revered winemakers of our time.
Based on research done by Neilsen, “unlike with Scotch whisky or vodka, the market for luxury tequila is tiny, although it is growing fast. Tequila priced at more than $60 a bottle makes up only 0.6% of the U.S. tequila market” and according to Mr. Schwartz of Diageo “The market is there, one day this could transcend tequila and become a pure luxury product.”
Diddy being the marketing genius behind not only his own brand but also products that he endorses, posted this on his twitter page, “BREAKING NEWS!!The WORLD’S BEST tequila has arrived ppl! The @DeleonTequila wave starts NOW! #DeleonTequila READ THIS http://reut.rs/KDo2xU.”
If anyone can take a brand known only to a few individuals and transform it into a global must-have, it will be Diddy. If you need more proof, other than the 80 proof and higher tequilas, look at his other projects, Sean John which is a staple in menswear fashion, and of course as mentioned previously, Ciroc, which went from obscurity to a leading name in vodka. He doesn’t just transform a brand, he builds it into a lifestyle necessity. Tequila like any spirit is an acquired taste and will be an acquired lifestyle very soon. If the trend persists the luxury spirit of choice won’t be cognac or champagne it will be tequila and Diddy might have everything to do with that renaissance.