Celebrities aren’t as vain as some may think, and their investments prove that they’re trying to bring good to the world. For example, “Bodyguard” and “Field of Dreams” actor Kevin Costner invested in a device that separates water from oil. The device eventually helped clean up some of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Looking at the bigger picture, it’s clear that there are many prolific investors coming from the entertainment industry. And it seems that they are mostly interested in several sectors of the economy, such as:
1. Food & beverages
In the past, celebrities didn’t go further than endorsements, like Pepsi ad campaigns featuring Michael Jackson, Beyonce, David Beckham, and many more. Now, celebrities are getting a cut of the culinary world by amassing stakes in food and beverage startups that align with their personal brand and values.
The reasons for the trend are multifold – some tell their story through food, improve brand building, help their communities, or just embrace their love of food.
Examples: Oprah Winfrey x True Food Kitchen, Leonardo DiCaprio x Champagne Telmont, Drake x Dave’s Hot Chicken.
2. Hospitality & tourism
Many businesses have received the name recognition of popular celebrities: restaurants, resorts, hotels, spas, and clubs. Here’s why.
Celebrities are known as the most demanding guests. When a celebrity invests in a hospitality business, the investment becomes a badge of honor, proving even the most seasoned traveler will enjoy it. Essentially, if a celebrity enjoys the resort, so will “ordinary people”.
Examples: Robert De Niro x Nobu Hospitality and Nobu Restaurants, Jon Bon Jovi Foundation x Soul Kitchen, Francis Ford Coppola x Blancaneaux Lodge (and other luxury resorts).
3. Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and ICOs
Celebrities with a stake in the long-term future of crypto are a step forward from the dip-and-dash-style campaigns. They push the idea of “embracing the moment and committing now”, which sometimes enriches their fans and sometimes ends in a scandal.
Some prominent people even see it as a philanthropic cause. In this case, their investments become extensions of their public image that serves the public goodwill.
Examples: Reese Witherspoon x Ethereum, Paris Hilton x NFTs, Matt Damon x Crypto.com.
Direct-to-consumer online shops cover a wide variety of brands, offering lots of choices for the rich and famous.
Once again, there is a trend of celebrities upgrading from brand ambassadors to brand stakeholders. The most credible deal is when a celebrity invests in a company and becomes the face of its product, which celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev calls “The Kim Kardashian Principle.
Examples: Kim Kardashian x SKIMS, Kylie Cosmetics x Kylie Jenner, Goop x Gwyneth Paltrow.
Finally, there is a trend of impact investing. These are financial contributions to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact, not profit-first investments.
Tech moguls, actors, singers, and athletes are commended for using their platforms for good, whether it means using their affluence to fight the climate crisis or creating an inclusive beauty brand. While some speculate it’s done for self-centered reasons, not everyone is as cynical.
Examples: Robert Downey Jr. x Footprint Coalition, Bono x The Rise Fund, Jason Momoa x Bloom Materials.
Some industries that have seen celebrity investments have been left out. But food & beverages, hospitality & tourism, digital assets, eCommerce, and sustainability have undeniably been on everyone’s investing radar in the last decade, if not more. And these industries show all the signs of unstoppable growth.