It's a busy time to be in the business of Nicki Minaj. As the rapper preps her sophomore album "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" (April 3), news of a major endorsement deal and a consolidation of her touring and business representation has also started to surface.
Forbes reported Monday afternoon (March 19) that Minaj has signed a seven-figure endorsement deal with Pepsi expected to include an international commercial and a gig as the face of a new natural soda called "Pop" in fourth quarter. The international commercial was filmed last month in Argentina, where footage leaked on YouTube, and could make its official debut as early as late April, a source tells Billboard. A Pepsi spokeswoman declined comment.
Additionally, Billboard has learned that Minaj consolidated all booking, branding and other representation with her management company The Blueprint Group, having previously tapped Creative Artists Agency's Mark Cheatham for touring. The shift was finalized in early March, according to two sources familiar with the deal. Spokespeople for CAA and Minaj were unable to comment.
The Pepsi pact marks Minaj's biggest brand relationship to date, following a recent partnership with Mattel to auction a one-of-a-kind Nicki Minaj Barbie doll in December. Bidding for the doll started at $1,000 and closed at $15,000, according to the Charity Buzz page that hosted the doll's bids. Other recent branding deals include MAC's Viva Glam, OPI nail polish and Onch Movement jewelry.
The Pepsi-Minaj deal was brokered by the Glu Agency's Derek Jackson, a former manager of hip-hop producer Scott Storch who also helped engineer the "DEWeezy" campaign from Mountain Dew and Minaj's Young Money labelmate Lil Wayne.