Another time Trump got involved with the sports business was in 1988 when he promoted a boxing match between the indomitable Mike Tyson and boxer Michael Spinks. Tyson dropped the undefeated heavyweight in a 91-second knockout. Significantly, the fight cross-promoted Trump’s business as well. Taking place near Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., Trump boasted of the $11 million billing for the live and pay-per-view event, the most expensive ever in boxing history.
A couple of weeks after Tyson’s astounding victory, Trump announced he was “charitably” becoming Tyson’s career advisor. Trump called a press conference to say that any income he received from the arrangement would go to his personal charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, (another promotional point) for AIDS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and helping the homeless. The only problem is, Tyson didn’t pay up. A few months later, the Donald penned a letter to Tyson requesting he kindly pay the organization the $2 million that was billed for Trump’s assistance with legal services against boxing manager Bill Cayton’s excessive fees. No response. They remained friends and Tyson endorsed the presidential bid in 2015.
The good news is, Trump Vodka, in its sealed bottle, is priced as high as $1,000 on eBay. The sad news is, as told by Bloomberg Businessweek in April of 2016, the branded, distilled spirit is “On the Rocks.” Trump Vodka was supposed to be big, great and beautiful. Trump’s trademark marketing of his name kicked into high gear in 2006. Vowing to every camera and mic he met that the next hottest drink would be called a T&T, a Trump and tonic, he fully expected the brand to nudge into Grey Goose’s top shelf space. A bottle of Trump Vodka out-priced Absolut at $33 a bottle. If that wasn’t high end enough, a $100 edition, embossed with a 24-karat gold-leaf label, hit distinguished clubs and clients that same year. In 2007, marketing seemed to be paying off with the sale of 40,000 cases of Trump Vodka.
And then the overextended story, trailing into inescapable debt. The distillery went bankrupt in 2010, and partner Drinks America went belly-up in 2011, selling its assets to another adult beverage company. In Israel, however, Trump Vodka found a distributor, much to Trump’s malign for missing out on sales, but it’s not exactly the same, it’s produced in Germany. The original product marketing detailed a five-time distilling process of select European wheat at a Dutch distillery. It’s sold only once a year, as kosher, for the Passover holiday. A reporter from the Jerusalem Post observed that three sampled bottles were not, in fact, kosher. Trump probably gloated to Orthodox Jews that his brand is kosher.
Trump Fragrance – Success and Empire
Here’s another tale of Trump’s role of becoming President of the U.S. hurting his bottom line. Nike and Macy’s left him in N.Y.C. retail, and, just the same, Macy’s, its exclusive seller, and Perfumania distanced itself from the Trump brand by discontinuing its sales and production of his bottled scents. Macy’s also booted Trump out of the menswear department, discontinuing the Trump line. Three weeks after announcing his campaign, a publicist for Perfumania announced it was cutting ties with the polarizing businessman turned politician.
The Trump Success fragrance brand was launched in 2012 with enticing fresh scents of juniper, red currant and coriander. Empire fragrance marketed in March of 2015, just ahead of his presidential bid announcement, emanated natural scents like peppermint, chai, and apple. The Trump name doesn’t guarantee success, even when it’s called Success.
The Macy’s Backstory
The Trump Organization and Macy’s department stores teamed up in 2004 to sell men’s clothing. The line which featured high-end dress shirts, ties and accessories were promoted by Trump himself, appearing in several Macy’s TV commercials. In 2015, all that changed. Citing his racist rhetoric, referring to him calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” “drug dealers” and “criminals,” Macy’s announced they were discontinuing his line of menswear at their stores. In deference to their clientele, Macy’s published the following statement: “Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion. We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico.” Trump fired back with a less than classy response accusing Macy’s of supporting illegal immigration.
The menswear items may be found on Amazon and the Trump website, but all ties to the department store giant are cut. The store has not, on the other hand, cut ties with Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, and continues to carry the clothing with that particular Trump label. Men’s wear, another failed Trump Organization venture.
Trump Home products launched in 2007. It partnered with such brands and retailers as, Lexington Home, Serta, Macy’s, Wayfair, Lifestyle, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bellacor, Sears, Kmart, and HSN. Each company has since cut ties with the Organization. Many cited offenses to the aggressive and polarizing 2016 campaign, while others discontinued their contracts without a stated reason.
Serta Mattress and The Trump Organization’s brand partnership was extensive from 2009 to 2015 until Serta allowed their licensing agreement to expire with the following statement: “Serta values diversity and does not agree with nor endorse the recent statements made by Mr. Trump.”