It seems owning a tequila brand is the ultimate celebrity status symbol today. There’s Casamigos (George Clooney), Teremana (The Rock), Lobos 5 (Lebron James), Villa One (Nick Jonas), 818 (Kendall Jenner) and Casa del Sol (Eva Longoria), just to name a few. So when Michael Jordan got in the game, the GOAT set his sights on making nothing short of the “world’s finest tequila.”
In the summer of 2016, Jordan, Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss, Milwaukee Bucks Owner Wes Edens, Boston Celtics Owner’s Wyc Grousbeck and his wife Emilia Fazzalari met for dinner and bonded over their shared passion for tequila — and the idea for Cincoro Tequila was born.
“We created our mission to make the ultimate, delicious-tasting tequila. That’s how it all started, and it’s been our North Star since then,” Fazzalari, who is now the CEO of the brand, told Yahoo Finance.
Together, the five owners hold a staggering 35 NBA Championship titles (Celtics 17, Lakers 16, Bucks 2 & Jordan’s 6 as a player) and the unique five-sided Cincoro bottle symbolizes their partnership. They work hard not to be perceived as just another celebrity brand. “We focus on the liquid. For us, it’s not about celebrity. It’s about creating an absolutely delicious tequila,” said Fazalari.
With prices ranging from $89.99 for Blanco to $125 for their best selling Anejo, Cincoro has sold more than 1.5 million bottles in three years. This month Cincoro will debut a new $350 a bottle variety which is a blend of their flavors. Gold is barrel-aged for more than 40 months with notes of sweet honey, toasted oak, vanilla, and dried fruits, said Fazzalari.
According to industry analysis from IWSR, tequila sales are up 17% year-over-year and it’s poised to become the most valuable spirits category in the U.S. Fazzalari said that despite the relatively high cost, the super premium category is up 36%. “It’s actually the fastest portion of the category that’s growing. So we believe that Cincoro can lead the ultra-premium segment, and we think that our amazing ownership group will help us break through and go global in a really big way.”
Unlike in the NBA, there’s plenty of room for multiple winners in the tequila game, Fazzalari said. “We’re seeing consumers continue to drink higher quality spirits,” with the tequila category “predicted to grow to about $15 billion by 2025.”
Numbers like that are sure to draw even more big names to a celebrity-filled space, but this group welcomes the competition. “For us it’s about working hard and focusing on our mission, creating a generational brand,” Fazzalari said.
So, how does Michael drink it? With an orange and one large rock, she said.
David Briggs is an anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @davebriggstv
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