EFFEN #Vodka, which means “smooth” vodka in Dutch, has been around for quite some time, but it wasn’t until they partnered up with one of the most polarizing artist, #50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) that the vodka received the most attention. The Holland based vodka began working with rapper 50 Cent in 2014, and immediately 50 went to work. He began a social media battle with soon to be rival Diddy’s Ciroc vodka. Both Diddy and 50 Cent went back and forth on instagram and twitter with memes, and videos. At the end, EFFEN vodka took some of Ciroc’s formula by adding a DJ program similar to Diddy’s “Ciroc Boys” crew, even taking one of Ciroc’s main DJs, Dj Camilo from NY’s Hot 97.

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EFFEN started growing and added new flavors to the portfolio like Blood Orange, Green Apple and Raspberry. Things were really looking up for the brand, EFFEN Vodka became a player in the vodka space, which was slowing dying as whiskey and tequila’s stock started to rise and take over.

50 Cent has the magical investment touch

50 Cent is no stranger to partnerships that pay major dividends, in 2007, 50 walked away with nearly $100 million from his vitamin water deal when it was brought out by Coca-Cola. Fast forward 10 years later to the month, 50 Cent once again cashes out with a beverage investment. It was reported in July that Curtis sold his stake in EFFEN Vodka for $60 million. Many reports have surfaced that Mr. Jackson is not off the brand even though he sold his stake; it looks to be a straight up endorsement deal rather than an investment.

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This works out great for 50, he cashes out and still continues to get paid for promoting the vodka. This was confirmed by parent company Beam Suntory “Contrary to any inaccurate media reports, EFFEN Vodka’s partnership with 50 Cent continues.” (Via #The Drink Business) Ironically, 50 Cent doesn’t drink but who says you need to drink the drink to invest in the drink?

EFFEN Vodka, past and present

EFFEN although distilled in the Dutch town of Groningen, is really more of American vodka with roots in Chicago. EFFEN is the creation of three former colleagues at KBA Marketing, a firm based in Chicago who are experts in on-premise marketing at restaurants, bars and clubs. These three former partners took their vodka to another Chicago based company and spirits powerhouse, Constellation Brands who took Effen as a baby and helped it grow. The rise was quick but eventually Constellation Brands sold it to Fortune Brands, a major player in the spirits world. Fortune Brands is part of Beam Suntory on the liquor side. EFFEN has been featured in NY Fashion Week events, the HBO show Entourage and other subtle placements. The brand has seen its ups and downs for sure, and now in 2017 EFFEN Vodka has plans to grow their flavored vodka portfolio and keeping 50 Cent as their celebrity endorser.