Like A Boss: Beyoncé Ups Her Biz Ventures With Music, Clothing, Drink Deals
Beyoncé didn’t get into music just to sing and dance. She got into music to build an entertainment empire. Over the years, she has slowly and methodically organized her team and set goals. Now she is CEO of her own brand –in addition to being an artist, film director, entrepreneur, and political activist. “I think about Madonna and how she took all of the great things she achieved and started the label and developed other artists,” Beyoncé said in a 2013 interview. “There are not enough of those women.”
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, 35, has been making major business moves as of late. As an investor, she’s “taken stakes in start-ups that share her interest in women’s health, from 22 Days Nutrition, a vegan-diet company, to WTRMLN WTR, a sports beverage she drinks while prepping for her physically demanding stage show,” reported the Wall Street Journal. She has also tightened up the team around her, having reshuffled her management team which is now being led by former J.P. Morgan Chase executive Steve Pamon, who led J.P. Morgan’s sports and entertainment marketing division. He is now the head of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment company and is the main chief negotiator for all Parkwood matters. There are also new departments under Parkwood, including an in-house record label. “She’s broadening her reach,” Mathew Knowles, her father and manager until Beyoncé parted ways with him in 2010, told WSJ. “She’s paying more attention to ownership—as an entrepreneur.” He added that Beyoncé grew up knowing the ins and outs of business. “It didn’t just happen overnight,” he said. “A lot of artists, they start companies, but they don’t have a clue what happens inside of them. They pretend. She’s not pretending. She’s actually making these decisions, coming up with these ideas.”
Beyoncé is very serious about her business–and growing it. She’s added new executives to her circle to help her find talent from the finance, tech and entertainment industries and she’s made the following moves, like a boss.
–Launching the Ivy Park “athleisure” clothing line, selling running shorts, tank tops, and hoodies ranging from $35 to $60 as well as higher-priced jackets and backpacks. For this venture, the singer partnered with British retail tycoon Philip Green.
–Investing in her husband, Jay Z’s, artist-owned music-streaming service Tidal.
–Just months ago this spring, Beyoncé unveiled a partnership with WTRMLN WTR. WTRMLN WTR, co-founded by Jody Levy, sells watermelon juice made from bruised or misshapen watermelons. Beyoncé is already cross-marketing the product. “Instead of simply endorsing the drink, Beyoncé invested capital. The brand was recently part of Beyoncé’s ‘BeyHive VIP’ package on tour. Last month, Beyoncé promoted it on Facebook, saying the drink ‘keeps us happy, healthy and hydrated’,” reported WSJ.
–Beyoncé also wants to make other artists superstars. Her company has signed new acts and formed a record label and artist-management department. Again, she tapped veteran executives to help her on this end. “Last year, she hired [Peter] Thea, a 30-year veteran of the music industry, to head up her label: Besides engineering albums with Aerosmith and the Grateful Dead, he’s worked as an entertainment lawyer and ran Jive Records’ A&R department, working with Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake,” reported WSJ. Among the artists already signed to the label are teenage R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, Houston rapper Ingrid, and singer Sophie Beem.
–She knows how to tour–and tour profitably. Her “Formation World Tour,” marked her first global solo stadium outing, might just be 2016’s highest-grossing international tour. Pollstar estimated her ticket sales at around $260 million. And Forbes estimated Beyoncé raked in $54 million in 2015, beating Jay Z’s $53.5 million in income.