Rapper, Flo Rida awarded $82M in Celsius lawsuit
Flo Rida has been granted $82 million in damages following a case he filed against energy drink manufacturer Celsius over unpaid endorsements. On Wednesday, January 18, the rapper was recognized for his hits “Low” and “Right Round” won.
In 2014, Flo Rida inked an endorsement arrangement with Celsius, which she renewed in 2016. In 2021, the rapper filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming he was not given stock options or other perks as promised in his contract.
These bonuses were offered if certain sales goals were met; however, Flo Rida’s camp claimed the contract was ambiguous, preventing him from cashing in.
“He’s entitled to 500,000 shares of stock via the contract, and entitled to 250,000 shares of stock if certain things happen, one of those yardsticks is that a certain number of units of products need to be sold, but unfortunately the contract doesn’t specify which type of unit—is it a box, is it a drink? And there’s no timeframe or deadline,” lawyer John Uustal told Insider.
Flo Rida further stated that he was not privy to Celsius’ financials, and that he was not notified when the company exceeded such targets, and that he was unaware that he did. Celsius’s lawyers stated in court records that the statute of limitations for Flo Rida to file the complaint had passed, and that the company’s contract with him had expired in 2018. Flo Rida claimed that his support for the brand contributed to their success. Celsius Inc. Holdings shares are worth more than $100.
During a five-day trial, the rapper’s (real name Tramar Dillard) attorneys argued that Celsius had met key sales thresholds that entitled Flo Rida to additional stock amounting to a 1% stake in the company, a cut his lawyers claimed was worth at least $75 million now that Celsius had grown successful. They claimed that his promotion aided “a modest local company that was about to go out of business.”
Celsius’ lawyers countered that the firm had made no guarantees, that the sales benchmarks had not been met, and that the rapper had already been paid “far in excess” of what he was entitled. They told the jury that Flo Rida was merely looking for a hefty monetary payout to which he was not entitled, arguing, “A business contract is a business deal. You don’t get a second chance just because you’re displeased with the outcome.”
The “My House” rapper, on the other hand, argued that the deal did not expire and that his music helped launch the company to huge revenues, as proved by the now-viral video of him swaying to his own music in court.
The judges agreed with Flo and said he earned a $82 million portion of the company’s profitability. The judges awarded the rapper more than $27 million, which accounts for 250,000 shares in Celsius.