Diddy made Cîroc a household name in the early 2010s, and according to him, he turned things around for the entire company in the process.
On Tuesday (September 5), financial literary platform Earn Your Leisure published their recent conversation with the Bad Boy mogul, who shared some of the ins and outs of his business deals.
“I was called to have a meeting with Diageo. They knew that I was kind of killing things in the culture and they were trying to fix their diversity problem and through that, a meeting was set up,” Diddy began. “I told them, you know: ‘I want to be an owner and that I have these ideas from promoting parties at Howard’ – just remembering that I would always get the door and never get the bar. So I said: ‘I have aspirations to have Black-owned brands owned by Black people behind the bar and a part of your organization.’
“I’m looking at their portfolio and they said we could start something from scratch. But I’m looking at their portfolio and I remember one night I was having a great, great time with Cîroc. I had some Cîroc, it was made by grapes and I remember the light bulb went off in my head. I said: ‘I don’t want to wait and develop nothing. Let me show you what I could do with Cîroc. Let me show you how I could turn your revenue around.'”
He continued: “They were losing $40million a year and I went and turned it around and took it to 2.6 million cases from 40,000 cases. This is something that’s never been done! And so 15 years later, even though I had that success, I was always fighting for Cîroc not to be pigeonholed – not to be pigeonholed as a Black brand, not to be pigeonholed as an urban brand. I already went through that!
“I went through that with Sean John. They put me in the urban section. I had to go and disrupt the fashion industry, pull up on Fashion Week showing what that Black Excellence swag is about and that’s what we did with Sean John.
“And so with Cîroc, it was the same thing getting into the spirits industry. No matter what industry I went into, I always came up against this ceiling that they just wanted to keep me in the color section.”
Watch the full clip below:
Unfortunately, Diddy is now in a legal battle with Diageo. The Bad Boy mogul sued the spirits company back in May and claimed it neglected his DeLeón brand while throwing its full support behind George Clooney’s Casamigos.
Diageo moved to sever ties with Diddy at the end of June, calling the lawsuit a “sham.” The company further claimed the Bad Boy Records founder only contributed $1,000 cash to their partnership — which has raked in over a billion in profits — in comparison to its $100million investment.
“The message is clear — if you dare to shed light on Diageo’s conduct, you will be punished,” Diddy’s lawyer John Hueston said in documents filed in New York State Supreme Court, which were obtained by The New York Post. “While Diageo has self-servingly misrepresented the goals of Combs’s lawsuit in the press, its attempt to retaliate against Combs for asserting his legal rights will not work in court.”