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Eastside Distilling and Rich Marks sign deal for Redneck Riviera branded spirits

Published 17 November 2017

Eastside Distilling and Rich Marks announced that Eastside has been granted an exclusive license for use of the Redneck Riviera brand for spirits based products.

Rich Marks, the licensor, is controlled by John Rich, a “multiple platinum” country music singer and songwriter who performs with the "Big & Rich" band.

Spirits branding for the Redneck Riviera products, including bottle design, is being managed by Eastside in collaboration with Portland-based Sandstrom Partners, a leading spirts branding firm whose successes include Bulleit Bourbon, St-Germain, Stillhouse and Aviation Gin, among others.

The Redneck Riviera slogan, “Work Hard. Play Hard,” is the brainchild of the entertainer and entrepreneur John Rich and it celebrates men and women whose hard-working attitude and everyday contributions to others and to the country deserve to be acknowledged.

Redneck Riviera’s John Rich commented, “I love a smooth blend of whiskey and a tight cigar to chill out after a rocking Big & Rich show or just a nice evening at home, so to be announcing this new whiskey is such a thrill and honor. My personal tasting panel of friends and fellow whiskey drinking performers spent months going for exactly the right type of smooth taste that we enjoy in Canadian whiskey, both on stage and off, and now can also enjoy from something local made right here in America.

It has always been my goal to have a sprits line and to be able to roll out this custom blend whiskey made in America by some great distillers and craft blenders, like the hard-working team of Travis Shoney and Mel Heim of Eastside, is a big win for us. This is one exciting time for the Redneck Riviera brand. This team is hard working and they play even harder, just like we do.”

Redneck Riviera currently has two themed venues for live music, one set to open in the spring of 2018 on Nashville’s famed honky-tonk row of Lower Broadway and Redneck Riviera Las Vegas now open at the Grand Bazaar Shops adjacent to Bally’s Las Vegas on the famed Sin City strip.

The Redneck Riviera license agreement, which is royalty free, contemplates that Eastside will commence production and sale of the first product, Redneck Riviera Whiskey, sometime during the next 6 to 8 weeks. Eastside Senior VP of Sales, Jarrett Catalani, will have primary responsibility for sales and marketing efforts including coordinating promotional support from John Rich and the Redneck Riviera team. It is contemplated that Redneck Riviera Whiskey will initially be distributed in the Gulf Coast area of the Southeast U.S. Mr. Catalani is presently negotiating wholesale distribution contracts for Redneck Riviera Whiskey.

Eastside Chairman and CEO, Grover Wickersham, commented, “We like working with John Rich and T.J. McDaniel of Redneck Riviera. Our two North Carolina rooted distillers on our team, Travis and Ted, were already big fans, so the arduous process of dialing in the perfect blend turned into a labor of love.

The reactions from the distributors we’ve met with and sampled to so far, during what is normally a hard time of the year to get attention, has been very exciting. John Rich himself will be calling on customers with us and turning loose his personal charisma and enthusiasm to support his new favorite beverage. We are expecting a very strong launch.”

Key financial terms of the agreement include:

  • Income from sales of whiskey and any subsequent products go entirely to Eastside less any customary brand development allowances to distributors or other such payments that are within the discretion of Eastside;
  • The agreement is royalty free. Eastside will provide an annual budget to cover out of pocket expenses such as reimbursement to John Rich for expenses incurred while performing personal services in marketing the brand, such as diesel fuel for Mr. Rich’s bus, air fare, hotel expenses and certain social media expenses. The initial required annual commitment by Eastside is $40,000;
  • Should Rich Marks choose to sell the Redneck Riviera spirits brands, Eastside Distilling and Rich Marks will share equally in the proceeds of sale of any brands and other IP developed pursuant to the agreement, based on a sliding scale that gives Rich Brands an increasing percentage for sale proceeds, if any, over $20 million. In addition, Eastside has certain rights of first refusal to acquire Rich Brand’s interest, which rights are solely at Eastside’s option to exercise, should a third-party sale transaction be proposed;
  • The timing of any initiation of sale of the IP subject to the agreement is within the sole discretion of Rich Marks;
  • In the event of a change in the ownership of more than half of the voting securities of Eastside (including sale, merger or other business combination that has such effect) a commercially reasonable per bottle charge will become payable to Rich Brands after such time, unless waived by Rich Brands;
  • The License is for an initial period of ten years. Commencing in three years, Eastside is required to meet certain levels of case sales to avoid termination of the license and, if those levels are met, Eastside can renew the license in perpetuity, or until such time as a sale of the Redneck Riviera spirits brands occurs;

Source: Company Press Release