That “$400 million deal” Soulja Boy tweeted about earlier this month? It’s very real and the client who’s paying the rapper that kind of money is World Poker Fund Holdings, the publicly traded gaming company behind CelebrityWorld.com.
World Poker Fund confirmed the 5-year endorsement deal on Friday, calling Soulja Boy “one of most influential urban entertainers and artist on social media today.” The 25-year-old Atlanta native will harness his sizable social media following (15 million strong) to help promote World Poker’s gaming assets, which will soon include an “in-flight gaming” platform.
“I invest in things I understand,” Soulja Boy said. “I enjoy music, and of course gaming. Being an influencer is a form of currency. Having portfolio diversification is critical if you want to be an effective brand ambassador. With regards to World Poker Fund, I believe in its strategy, its team, the vision, and management’s ability to target its financial goals.”
A publicist for World Poker said it was individual influencers like Soulja Boy, and not the brands themselves, that drive loyalty. “We no longer are fed content from major news networks — we seek it out and consume it by individual influencers that enrich our lifestyles,” said Matthew Bird. “Soulja Boy represents the best of the best and we are already seeing the impact from his presence.”
However, according to Bird and Hypebeast, Soulja Boy may have exaggerated the claim of the deal being $400 Million.
World Poker Fund values its in-flight gaming system at $570 million USD, which, according to Bird is calculated through “traditional incentive-based gaming assumptions.” Despite this number, it isn’t yet reflected in the company’s worth. According to CNNMoney, WPFH has a market capitalization of $52 million USD, with over $400,000 USD of losses in the last year.
So with all this cleared up, how is the company going to pay Soulja Boy $400 million USD? Basically, it’s not, and Soulja Boy fudged the details when tweeting out his deal. The $400 million USD number is actually what the deal is capped at, and includes both stock and revenue-sharing. “He really kind of jumped the gun. The deal is capped at $400 million, and it’s based on a forward-thinking valuation of the company. He’s young, he’s 25 years old. He got really excited, and he tweeted something he probably shouldn’t have tweeted. He was getting a lot of pressure from within the entertainment community, so he wanted to put a statement out. Obviously, the company’s market cap is at $51.8 million. There’s no way they could cut a $400 million deal. Endorsement deals are calculated on a lot of different factors. This is not a fully cash transaction,” says Bird.
Still, the business move is a good look for the “Crank Dat” star but maybe he should understand how much money he’s actually getting before bragging on social media.