Diddy Announces 50/50 Joint Venture With Ciroc Vodka

Sean "Diddy" Combs has entered into an alliance with the Diageo liquor company and will take over brand management of the liquor brand Ciroc it was announced today (October 24).

Combs and Sean Combs Enterprises will play the leading role in the brand management of Diageo's premium vodka Ciroc, as part of a multi-year U.S. collaboration.

The mogul will be responsible for the marketing, advertising, public relations, product placement and events promoting the Ciroc brand.

All profits will be split 50/50 in the deal, which could be worth over $100 million for Sean Combs Enterprises.

Combs revealed to AllHipHop.com that his focus will be on growing the established Ciroc brand first and then he may consider developing his own signature brand.

"The first part is to focus on Ciroc and create a fine spirits empire," Combs told AllHipHop.com. "Once that happens, we will see [about his own line]. What really makes this historical is that I am an African-American and I have teamed up with the world's largest spirits company, Diageo, to reshape how a luxury brand is marketed."

The Hip-Hop impresario noted that the vodka trade is worth $3 billion dollars and that the "ultra premium" category featuring spirits like Ciroc is growing faster than any other in the spirits industry.

"Sean Combs has a proven track record of developing high-end brands and we expect his alliance with Ciroc to follow suit," noted Debra Kelly-Ennis, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo North America. "We are confident that Sean and his team are the right partners to further enhance the luxury profile of Ciroc."

Combs praised the distinct manufacturing process of Ciroc, which is made from French grapes as opposed to the normal process of using potatoes.

"Now I don't know about you, but if I had the choice to drink potato grains or French grapes, I would go with the grapes," Combs quipped.

Helming the Ciroc brand's entire marketing strategy around the "art of celebration," Combs is planning a promotional coup to advertise Ciroc as the official drink of the 2007-2008 New Year's celebrations.

Combs also aims to serve as a spokesperson for responsible drinking.