American basketball player Lebron James has become the latest star to join the agave spirits sector through an investment in Lobos 1707 Tequila and mezcal.
The Wall Street Journal announced James’s decision to back Lobos 1707, a brand named after the Spanish word for ‘wolves’. Founded by the actor and entrepreneur, Diego Osorio, the brand is also enlisting. the help of Dia Simms, who has worked with brands such as Deleón Tequila and Cîroc Vodka.
Launching in Mexico and the US, the Lobos 1707 range comprises an extra añejo, reposado, joven and mezcal artesanal, with bottles ranging in price from $45 to $150. And what makes these bottles special is they’re aged in former Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry barrels.
Tequila fan Lebron James has invested in the company with his business partner and friend Maverick Carter due to the quality of the product, its core values and the chance to build a ‘strong consumer brand with diverse leadership’.
“I knew the first time I tasted Lobos 1707 Tequila that it was special,” said James. “When I learned more about the brand story and leadership team, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
“Lobos 1707 is about celebrating the strength of the group and bringing people together. It’s about shared passion and values. I love sipping Tequila with my friends, and we want a brand that speaks to us.”
James and Carter are part of Main Street Advisors’ (MSA) investment group, which co-led the investment in Lobos 1707, alongside Mezorio Spirits. Other investors include basketball players Anthony Davis and Draymond Green, American sports agent Rich Paul, and investment firm Torch Capital.
And the decision to invest is a smart one. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, from 2002 to 2019, gross revenues of high-end tequila suppliers in the U.S. increased by more than 570 percent. More specifically, revenues for super-premium tequilas have grown by 963 percent.
Lobos 1707 is said to use a centuries-old distillation process and a ‘unique’ barrel-ageing process with master distillers from Mexico and Spain working on its development. The Tequila is finished in Pedro Ximénez barrels from Spain using the solera system.
Lobos 1707 Mezcal is made with 100% espadín agave which has been roasted in an open Oaxacan fire pit.
“Lobos 1707 is a premium brand, and our distinctive ageing process meets the need of an accelerating category,” said Simms. “After first trying Lobos 1707, I fell in love with the liquid and the brand history. We have an incredible liquid, beautiful packaging, and a proud legacy. Our vision is to reach our customer community through our values as well as our products.”
Lobos 1707 Tequila Extra Añejo is priced at US$149.99 per 750ml, while the reposado and joven expressions are priced at US$47.99 and US$44.99 respectively. Lobos 1707 Mezcal Artesanal is priced at US$54.99 per 750ml.
The Lobos 1707 range is available in select retailers and restaurants across New York City, Florida and California and online at Reserve Bar. The range will launch across the US from early 2021.
Lebron James is not the only famous athlete to move into Tequila. Last year, former basketball star Michael Jordan partnered with fellow sports entrepreneurs to launch Cincoro Tequila.