What did Celsius do wrong? Where did the final dollar amount come from? Boardroom dives into the particulars of the Flo Rida Celsius lawsuit to answer all your burning questions.
In 2007, Flo Rida got rich off “Low.” In 2023, he’s cashing in with an assist from the law.
Multiple musical generations have passed since the Sunshine State rapper born Tramar Dillard paired with T-Pain to extoll the virtues of Apple Bottom jeans, but don’t tell Flo Rida that he isn’t as relevant as he’s ever been. Look no further than the news this week from Broward County that saw a jury award the MC and his media company, Strong Arm Productions, an incredible $82,640,450 in damages in resolution of a lawsuit against Boca Raton-based energy drink company Celsius Holdings, Inc.
The gist of the Flo Rida Celsius dispute? The rapper alleged that the company was in breach of a four-year endorsement contract between the two parties that began in 2014. He maintained that he was owed a significant amount of money given that the deal, which positioned him primarily as a brand ambassador, included a 1% equity stake in the company — as Celsius did better, so would he. That ultimately did not happen to Flo Rida’s liking, leading him to accuse the brand of “unjust enrichment” in pocketing profits from the endorsement deal.
The details of the jury’s decision, as well as the years of deals, dust-ups, and recriminations that led up to it, are admittedly a bit in-the-weeds. That’s why Boardroom is here to clarify the key components of the Flo Rida Celsius drama now that it’s got a pretty eight-figure bow on it.
Flo Rida Celsius Lawsuit: What You Need to Know
Was this a settlement or a verdict?
The parties did not settle out of court. A civil trial jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida rendered a verdict on the second day of deliberations.
What was the crux of Celsius’ argument against paying Flo Rida?
The company essentially contended that its greatest successes were due to “other business decisions” that occurred after the rapper’s contract as a brand ambassador ended in 2018.
Did Flo Rida’s lawsuit specifically request the $82,640,450 number?
No, he and his legal team did not designate a dollar amount regarding the damages, but instead used the promised 1% ownership stake as its benchmark. The final sum was ultimately determined by the court.
Were all of the withheld payments meant to be in the form of cash royalties?
No, the structure for the 2014 endorsement deal promised payouts in the form of both royalties and equity shares in Celsius Holdings, Inc. based on certain company milestones. As Forbes and others have noted, a $27,000,000 portion of the damages is meant to reflect the value of 250,000 Celsius shares to which the jury determined Flo Rida was entitled under the terms of the endorsement deal but not awarded.
Did the rapper allege any other wrongdoing by Celsius beyond withholding money?
Yes, the lawsuit accused Celsius of defrauding Flo Rida by withholding key information about the business as it related to the terms of his deal.
Is Flo Rida’s business relationship with Celsius 100% over?
Actually, no. Despite all the legal squabbling, he never sold or relinquished his equity stake — and to hear him tell it, he’s happy that his relationship with the energy drink company is continuing. As he told the Associated Press:
“I’m still an owner in the company. And when you basically planted the seed for something that is successful, you can’t help but have unconditional love.”
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