Pitbull Plans To Be the Next Billion Dollar Brand

Pitbull
Photo by: Miller Mobley

Pitbull's aspirations go far beyond being just an entertainer. With a net worth somewhere between $11-20 million, nine top 10 singles under his belt, the official song of the 2014 World Cup, and a portfolio of brand sponsorships spanning Dr Pepper, Kodak, Bud Light, Voli Vodka and, most recently, Playboy, he's working towards a billion-dollar enterprise.

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In the Hollywood Reporter's current cover story on the 33-year-old Cuban-American popstar, the "Timber" rapper speaks about developing his business sense growing up in Miami in the time of "Scarface". He says, "I wanted to be Sosa -- educated, good-looking, a good dresser, and he's the one who was running it. And notice, he never got his hands dirty. He sipped his tea. He was nice, not aggressive. And at the end of it all, he was the one that stayed. So I realized around 18 that Tony's the wrong guy to be looking up to."  

Other than learning how to sell drugs in this setting, which he did for a while, Pitbull says he learned how to connect with people. That's been a powerful gift winning loyalty from executives and fans in all realms and was instrumental in earning radio play early on. Now he hopes that will launch him beyond music as he boasts a development deal with "Big Brother"-producer Endemol, a team up with Ryan Seacrest for a TV miniseries on the Bacardi family and puts increased attention towards his business and brands. 

In the piece, Pitbull describes a typical corporate sit-down, saying, "I'll be sitting in marketing meetings where they're going, 'Well, this is our multicultural budget,' and 'We'll make this a multicultural campaign,' and I say, 'Great!' knowing that they see me in the context of the Latin boom. 'Oh, he's the next Latin this or Latin that. …' But in my mind, I know this is the general market. I touch everybody at the end of the day." 

Evangelical about hard work, throughout the endorsements and millions rolling in, Pitbull has stayed committed to the middle class and an idealism of building something from the bottom. His upcoming clothing line won't be sold at Barneys (like Jay-Z's) and he isn't pushing a life of excess. He says, "The only business that I knew growing up was flipping -- if I invested five dollars, I knew I could get back eight. If I got back eight, that meant I could live off three, invest another five, get another eight, stack another three. That's what the music business is to me -- flip after a flip, a flip after a flip."

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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