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Flo Rida says he has “unconditional love” for drink brand after winning $82.6 million legal battle

By | Published on Thursday 19 January 2023

Flo Rida

A US court has ordered energy drink company Celsius to pay Flo Rida a neat $82.6 million after he accused the firm of failing to make good on past brand partnership agreements.

Though, despite the legal battle, the rapper says he has “unconditional love” for the Celsius brand and would happily work with the company again in the future. Whether that sentiment is shared on the other side of the table – what, with the $82.6 million cheque they’ve now got to write – is another matter entirely.

The dispute centred on whether certain sales targets had been met during Flo Rida’s partnership with Celsius. Because, in addition to some upfront payments and shares in the company, the rapper’s deal with the energy drink maker said he would receive additional shares if certain targets were met.

He argued that those sales targets had been achieved and therefore the extra shares should have been handed over. He went legal in 2021 as the company’s share price was shooting up, making the value of that equity considerably higher, hence the big pay out in this week’s judgement.

For its part, Celsius disputed whether the targets that granted Flo Rida extra shares had really been met, while also insisting that the company’s recent successes were not a direct result of its partnership with the rapper, which ran from 2014 to 2018.

However, the court concurred with Flo Rida’s interpretation of his agreements with Celsius and concluded that the targets had been met, and therefore he was due the additional and now rather lucrative stock, or at least a pay out equal to the value of that stock.

Summarising the dispute, the rapper’s legal rep, John Uustal, told the Associated Press that his client “loved the product” and enjoyed “a very successful four year relationship” with the energy drink business.

“There were some benchmarks”, he added. “He was supposed to get stock when certain things happened. And there became a dispute about whether those benchmarks had been reached. So that’s what this was about”.

Uustal also confirmed that his client’s love of the product has not gone away, despite the litigation, adding that – because of all the love – the rapper would accept additional stock in the Celsius company in lieu of the financial damages he was awarded in court.

The rapper himself also confirmed that the love remains, noting that he still has the upfront shares he received in the Celsius business and adding that he’d like to work with them again in the future. He told the AP: “I’m still a owner in the company – and when you basically planted the seed for something that is successful, you can’t help but have unconditional love”.