Justin Timberlake is taking a bigger step into the tequila business with a major partner. Advertising Age reports the singer/actor has “broken up” with Anheuser-Busch to “join forces with Beam Inc. to market a new tequila called Sauza 901” as part of a deal being described as “a co-branded partnership.”
“Sauza 901 is a super-premium line extension of Beam's core Sauza Tequila brand; it is essentially a restaging of the ‘901’ brand that Mr. Timberlake launched on his own in 2009,” AdAge reports. The name is a reference to the area code of Timberlake's hometown of Memphis.
"My love for tequila began a few years ago after I visited the tequila heartland of Jalisco, Mexico, and saw the passion and craftsmanship that goes into every bottle," Timberlake said in a statement. "That trip inspired me to create 901, and I'm thrilled to partner with Sauza so we can continue to bring the world 901."
Last February, Timberlake struck a deal to star in ads for the Anheuser-Busch beer brand Bud Light Platinum. He also served as a creative and musical curator for the brand, according to AdAge, which confirmed that deal is ending.
“Timberlake's deal with Beam comes after competitor Diageo . . . announced a new joint venture with Sean "Diddy" Combs for the acquisition of a luxury tequila brand called DeLeón, “ AdAge reports. “Combs has for years marketed Diageo's Ciroc Vodka brand.”
A Beam spokeswoman told AdAge that Timberlake’s nearly 30 million Twitter followers would provide a "great built-in fan base" for the brand.