Energy Drink Celsius Owes Flo Rida An Alarming $82 Million In Lawsuit

Celsius energy drinks are growing in popularity with no limit in sight. Celsius targets health-focused consumers by highlighting their use of natural ingredients and completely avoiding artificial additives. With a sleek label and fun natural fruit flavors, Celsius has positioned itself as distinct from other energy drinks.

As consumers dialed in on the importance of healthy choices during the pandemic, the brand capitalized on the trend (via Food Dive). They offered online fitness classes and invested heavily in partnerships with Instacart and Amazon to get their product in front of consumers virtually. Some users on TikTok think Celsius energy drinks might be dangerous, but for the most part, consumers see the drinks as a healthier alternative. The strategy is paying off, literally. After a $550 million dollar investment from Pepsico, Celsius was valued at around $7.45 billion dollars, reported CNBC.

Between 2014 and 2018, Celsius had an endorsement deal with rapper Flo Rida. The rapper claims he also played a key part in the success of the brand saying, "I was instrumental in the Celsius that you know and love today. When this journey began, no one knew Celsius. I took Celsius all over the world through my videos, concerts, appearances, and social media" (via TODAY).

A jury of Flo Rida's peers agreed with him

The Florida native, Flo Rida, who is legally named Tramar Dillard, filed a lawsuit against Celsius claiming breach of contract, according to TODAY. He sued for 1% ownership of Celsius' holdings saying, "I only wanted what I worked for, nothing more, nothing less." The Florida jury agreed on all three claims brought by Flo Rida and his company Strong Arm Productions USA, Inc. (via NBC Miami). The jury found that the endorsement deal was in fact violated by Celsius. The jury ruled that Flo Rida was owed 250,000 shares from a 2014 contract, 500,000 shares from a 2016 contract, and royalties from 2018. Additionally, they found Celsius guilty of hiding pertinent information from him. Flo Rida was awarded damages to the tune of $82.6 million dollars.

Attorneys for Celsius obviously disputed the validity of Flo Rida's claims saying that he was appropriately compensated during the time of his endorsement deal.