🥤 How Barstool Sports created Pink Whitney


March 12, 2021

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The Hustle
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Good Earth Organics

Digital artist Beeple sold his non-fungible token (NFT) art at a Christie’s auction for $69.3m. #2021!

The big idea
vodka bottles

How Barstool Sports and 2 retired NHL players created America’s leading flavored vodka

In October 2018, 2 former NHL players (Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette) did an ad read for their popular Barstool Sports hockey podcast, Spittin’ Chiclets.

The podcast’s featured sponsor, New Amsterdam Vodka, gave the pair a simple prompt: “What do you drink your vodka with?”

With a completely straight face, Whitney — a professional athlete who is 6’4” and weighs 210 lbs. — said he drinks vodka with “pink lemonade,” and added that anyone with “any brains” or “any sort of confidence” would understand his choice.

It turns out he wasn’t wrong

Within days of the podcast, fans were tweeting their makeshift pink lemonade and vodka concoctions.

Within months, the drink was a viral sensation.

About one year after that initial podcast ad read, New Amsterdam Pink Whitney was on store shelves across America.

Vodka is America’s top-selling spirit…

… with 80m+ 9-liter cases sold in the US last year.

New Amsterdam — owned by E. & J. Gallo, a California-based winery and spirits distiller — was an ideal partner for Barstool. With mass distribution across America, the company knows how to get products to market.

After moving 15m+ bottles in less than 2 years — which we estimate brought in gross sales of $100m+ — Pink Whitney is now the fastest-growing flavored vodka brand on the market.

Barstool is creating the playbook for internet consumer products

Spittin’ Chiclets was launched after a single tweet. And Pink Whitney was created after a single podcast ad read blew up on social media.

How?

The Hustle recently spoke with Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini as well as the Spittin’ Chiclets team (Whitney, Bissonnette) to get a play-by-play on the wild Pink Whitney journey.

Read the story here →
Snippets
  • BlockFi to the sky: The New Jersey-based cryptocurrency services company — with financial products for retail and institutional investors — raised a $350m Series D at a $3B valuation.
  • GM chooses MIT: The automaker is partnering with Singapore-based SolidEnergy Systems, founded by an MIT grad, to develop battery technology that reportedly will reduce costs by 60%.
  • Instacart’s big hire: The grocery-delivery company — aiming to go public this year — announced that Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman joined its board. FYI, Snowflake’s IPO late last year was the largest software IPO ever.
  • Stock FOMO? A new filing with the SEC seeks to offer an ETF — rightly called FOMO — that tracks “emerging trends.” Translation: It’s supposed to help you ride the next GameStop wave.
  • Coupang — AKA South Korea’s Amazon — had a monster public debut, now sitting with an $84B valuation. Masayoshi Son’s Softbank turned a $3B bet on the company into a $30B+ windfall.
  • Professor G. makes moves: NYU professor Scott Galloway — a bestselling author, speaker, and entrepreneur — raised $30m for his MBA-alternative startup, Section4.
  • NO!!!: Netflix has put warnings on some accounts that share passwords, telling some users to get their own subscriptions.
Free Samples
Cure samples

Coming to a retail curbside near you: samples, and lots of ’em

Slinging back samples at the grocery isn’t just good customer service, it’s good business.

In-store samples are a bread-and-butter growth tactic for new consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. The pandemic has put samples on lockdown, forcing upstarts to go curbside.

Recently, electrolyte-drink startup Cure Hydration partnered with Walmart to place its samples in curbside orders at 1k+ Walmart stores.

Cure Hydration CEO Lauren Picasso…

… tells CNBC that curbside sampling has cut costs by as much as 80%, and guarantees more samples in customers’ hands — because who can resist a 2 oz. bottom-bag surprise?

Big brands are stuffing brown bags, too.

General Mills is ramping up production of sample-sized bites to be included in curbside deliveries at Target, Kroger, and Walmart.

Walmart execs have hinted they may start charging for insertion — something subscription boxes have done for years — as the company looks to drum up lost in-store revenue.

Shopping carts are clearly so 2019

Sales of grocery store deliveries and pickups have skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic, and continue to remain strong.

According to Statista, delivery and pickup dollars hit a high of $7.2B in June 2020, up from $1.2B in August 2019.

With more curbside sales volume, sampling makes a ton of sense. One study found that samples increased brand sales more significantly than coupons.

So sample on, curbies.

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SPONSORED

Here’s the dirt on the organic soil company disrupting a $60B industry

Let’s talk the green stuff.

No, not money (although there’s plenty of that to be made). We mean cannabis and hemp. 

69% of Americans now live in states with legal access to recreational or medical cannabis resulting in a new influx of professional growers looking to start businesses.

And there’s one need they all have in common: high-quality organic soil.

Which puts Good Earth Organics in one seriously enviable position

Between huge commercial operations and at-home growers, the demand for quality, organic soil and nutrients is about to skyrocket… and Good Earth Organics is one of the first companies taking advantage of the growing cannabis industry.

But why Good Earth Organics? Easy — while everyone else is focused on selling weed, they’re focused on selling the top-of-the-line soil, nutrients, and other amendments those growers need to succeed.

We rarely see investment opportunities like this, so take a closer look at Good Earth Organics here and find out how you can get in early.

Good Earth, great opportunity →
It’s-a Me, Mario!
Nintendo Switch

Looking to the future, Nintendo leverages its past

Here’s one name that’ll take you on a stroll down memory lane: Mario.

Nintendo isn’t known for world-class gaming machines, but it’s darn good at building fun, enduring hardware platforms that leverage its massive content library.

That strategy has proven really successful

The OG Wii sold 100m+ consoles less than 7 years after launch, and 9 Wii games have sold 10m+ units (82m for Wii Sports, arguably the greatest game in history).

Nintendo’s Switch — which came out 4 years ago and is in the middle of its product life cycle — is still selling like bonkers:

  • Demand is up +36% year-over-year
  • Cumulative sales volume reached ~80m
  • 20% of sales from October through December 2020 were for multi-console households

On the games side, Nintendo titles released a year ago or earlier accounted for as much as 80% of sales (translation: Nintendo’s old games are still 🔥… ).

Now Nintendo has some big plans in store

The company recently reported an operating profit of 229.7B yen ($2.2B). That’s well above the 189.6B yen analysts expected, but Nintendo is still looking to diversify.

Digital sales accounted for 41% of all Nintendo software sales and grew 105% year-over-year.

The company also plans to open its Osaka-based $580m Super Nintendo World theme park in the coming weeks.

If we ever make it to Japan, going there is a top priority.

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Stonks

What sectors will benefit from the $1.9T stimulus bill?

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9T COVID bill into law, per CNBC.

(The president will also instruct states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1.)

The key items in the bill include:

  • Direct payments of up to $1.4k
  • An extended unemployment supplement of $300/week
  • Funds for vaccine distributions

How might the stock markets respond to the historic bill?

One way to find out is to study the past.

Financial analytics firm Toggle AI looked at the performance of US stocks after 5 other historic stimulus bills:

  • 2001: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act
  • 2008: Economic Stimulus Act
  • 2009: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • 2017: Tax Cut and Jobs Act
  • 2020: CARES Act

Its analysis shows that Consumer Discretionary is the top-performing S&P 500 sector 3 months after these bills are signed into law.

When the cheddar hits, investors look to anticipate significant consumer spending and have historically targeted names like Nike, Starbucks, Home Depot, Target, and McDonald’s (’cause nothing says “pent-up demand” like people crushing Big Macs).

Which sector has historically been the loser? The boring old Utilities sector, with an average return of -3.3% over this span.

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See the rest →
Art of the day
Beeple artwork

“Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” is the name of a digital art piece sold by Christie’s on Thursday for $69.3m.

Created by digital artist Beeple, the work is part of the non-fungible token (NFT) movement in which creative digital works are placed on the blockchain.

The piece showcases 5k pieces of digital art that Beeple made each day over those number of days.

The bidding started 2 weeks ago at only $100 and — in the final 30 minutes — exploded from $15m to $69.3m, per Forbes. Insane!

P.S. Read our Sunday story on NFTs here.

Shower Thoughts

  1. In 10 or 20 years imagine how hard it will be to get a username online without a ton of numbers at the end.
  2. A whole lot of people suffered immensely so that we could figure out what foods, herbs and spices were edible.
  3. Maybe tornadoes only run into things because they’re so dizzy from spinning.
  4. When you speak/write in a language you are technically sharing encrypted information that only others who know the encryption can understand.
  5. Screaming when falling off of a cliff does nothing to change the end result, but you will probably do it anyway.
via Reddit

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