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What’s Next for Diddy’s Businesses?

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This episode memo was brought to you by 4se.

On May 21 – 22, Leaders and Sports Business Journal will come together for 4se (pronounced ‘force’) New York–their second annual event experience that brings the worlds of sports and entertainment together to help grow your integrated entertainment business strategies.

4se will bring together 600 top execs from music, sports, fashion, lifestyle, and culture. The 2024 agenda has just dropped, here you’ll see that this year’s speakers include key figures from Universal Music GroupMajor League BaseballNHLWWERedditUnder ArmourNASCARMitchell & Ness, and more. Other partners for 4se include Amazon PrimeConstellation Brands, and Meta.

I’ve talked to the team organizing this year’s event at Chelsea Industrial. There’s a big focus for 4se on music x sports, brand collaborations, audience growth, and more opportunities that can grow your business.

Sound interesting? You can learn more about the event and other speakers here.

This week, we had to talk about Puff. We’ve had numerous episodes highlighting his accomplishments. We’ve had the execs from Combs Global’s companies on Trapital. So we have to keep it real when shit hits the fan. On this episode, Zack O’Malley Greenburg and I went through each of Puff’s businesses and talked about where they stand with these allegations, and what the future holds.

You can listen to our conversation here or read a few takeaways below.

the present and future of Combs’ businesses

Let’s start with the biggest entity, Puff’s partnership with Diageo for Ciroc vodka and De Leon tequila.

This was Puff’s bread and butter. It powered, and subsidized, the rest of the portfolio. If Combs Global was Amazon, then Ciroc was Amazon Web Services—a lucrative engine that paved the way to a broader portfolio full of Kindles tablets, Fire Sticks, and Jennifer Lopez documentaries.

According to DiageoDiddy took home nearly $1 billion of revenue since the start of this partnership in 2007. Diddy and Diageo’s unique 50 – 50 partnership gave Puff an ownership-style relationship with the brand, even though Puff didn’t own equity in Ciroc. The assumed agreement was that in the event of a Ciroc exit, Puff would walk away with 50% of the proceeds from any sale.

But… that was before Diddy’s June 2023 lawsuit against Diageo over its lack of support for De Leon tequila, Cassie’s settlement with Diddy regarding the rape and sexual assault allegations, and the January 2024 lawsuit settlement between both parties.

How much did Diageo buy out Diddy for? Did Diageo know that these allegations were coming and used it as leverage? Did Diddy accept a buyout given his legal fees and a not-so-cheap lifestyle to maintain? We don’t know those answers but could likely assume a few things.

What’s next for Revolt?

Last month, Revolt CEO Detavio Samuels told The Hollywood Reporter that the company’s Q4 2023 was the largest quarter in the history of the company, and it hasn’t lost any advertisers since the Diddy scandals surfaced.

In November, Diddy stepped down as Chairman, and in March, he sold his ownership stake in REVOLT to an anonymous buyer (who is rumored to be Sundial Group CEO Richelieu Dennis).

Now that Diddy’s no longer involved, would a REVOLT rebrand make sense? The company’s business model is heavily focused on events, including its tentpole REVOLT WORLD in Atlanta, where Diddy’s aura plays a central role.

That said if Dennis is in fact the buyer, that Essence Fest – REVOLT WORLD is a great 1-2 combo for Black cultural events.

Sean John

Diddy bought back Sean John for $7.5 million in 2021 and hasn’t done much with it since. In our episode, Zack said that Diddy’s purchase of Sean John was a version of “domain squatting.” He would rather buy the brand himself than have it acquired for pennies by a company like ABG, whose portfolio is full of Sean John-era brands.

As a domain squatter myself, I can relate. I own at least three domains that I haven’t touched in years. I own them to make sure some troll won’t catch me slipping. But those domains cost me $30 per year. Not $7.5 million!

But even if Puff made moves to revive Sean John, it’s likely too little, too late. The brand has been largely sunset by Macy’s, one of its biggest retailers for years. Instead, one of the few places Sean John products can be found is on Walmart.com, where a Sean John suit jacket is on sale for $32. Yikes!

The last business we broke down is the Bad Boy Entertainment catalog. Last fall, Puff reverted publishing rights back to the original Bad Boy artists. It’s unclear how much Puff still owns of the label’s rights, but the music continues to get streams. It will still be attractive to music rights holders, especially those who buy, hold, only care about streaming returns, and could care less whose name is attached.

The catalog, brand, and rights may be less attractive to the value-add music rights acquirers who pursue multimedia partnerships and collaborations. The Puff Daddy biopic is a less glamorous story to tell, but we’ll see what the future holds.

Listen to the rest of the episode for more on:

– the value of Bad Boy Entertainment catalog
– the cannabis deal that didn’t go through
– Diddy’s investments in Spotify and Twitter
– Diddy, Kanye West, and key person risk with celebrity partnerships

 

Chartmetric stat of the week

The Notorious B.I.G.‘s brand is as “New York” as it can get, but his #1 city for estimated audience size…. Is actually Los Angeles! An estimated 5.48% of his overall audience (based on SpotifyYouTube, and Instagram followers) is in Los Angeles, compared to 5.29% in New York City.

Listen to the episode here.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

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