Ryan Reynolds: movie star, philanthropist, former People’s Sexiest Man Alive, and… exceptional at business?
In 2019, Reynolds acquired a 25%+ stake in Mint Mobile, a prepaid phone plan company that uses T-Mobile’s wireless network. Earlier this week, T-Mobile announced plans to buy Mint in a $1.35B deal.
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert touted the benefits of Mint’s “marketing formula,” which largely centers around Reynolds, who also appeared with Sievert in a video announcing the acquisition.
Reynolds’ involvement is the key
Reynolds co-founded production studio Maximum Effort with former 20th Century Fox exec George Dewey in 2018, which:
Is building a production studio in Canada
Will launch its own network on FuboTV, in which Maximum Effort owns a stake
This has allowed Reynolds’ companies to produce not only films, but funny, engaging, and topical ads.
Case in point: Davos Brands’ Aviation Gin, in which Reynolds acquired a stake in 2018.
Following Peloton’s uncomfortable holiday ad about a woman who receives a bike from her husband, Aviation’s parody featuring the same actress downing a martini went viral.
In 2020, Diageo acquired Aviation in a $610m deal, perFood & Wine. In 2022, Reynolds opened an Aviation distillery in Portland, Oregon, that ends with an escape room set in Reynolds’ “office.”
But wait, there’s more
In 2020, Reynolds and actor Rob McElhenney took over Wrexham AFC, a fifth-tier Welsh football team they hoped to revive.
Per Huddle Up’s Joe Pompliano, they invested $2.5m in the team, signed a 25-year local stadium lease, and Reynolds’ studio produced a docuseries about the process.
Wrexham has since enjoyed myriad sponsorship deals, a nearly 3x increase in season ticket sales, and a boom in social media followers.
Now, Reynolds is looking to conjure the same magic with the Ottawa Senators, a Canadian hockey team. If successful, he intends to build the team a new rink and produce another series about that process.