Case Study: Travis Scott and Strategic Brand Partnerships


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Jack(boy) Of All Trades

It is no surprise that brands from all backgrounds are eager to work with Travis Scott. The 29-year-old Houston rapper has established himself as one of the most prominent, trendsetting artists today through his distinct style and creativity. However, Scott’s prowess is not limited to his musical projects.

Travis Scott has proven to be a valuable business partner and collaborator through a series of strategic partnerships with some of the most iconic brands and companies in the world. In this blog, Hollywood Branded will explore how Travis Scott builds these strategic partnerships into symbiotic services, as well as how he brings the success of these campaigns full circle.

Case Study_ Travis Scott and Strategic Partnerships

Not His First Rodeo

Travis has been accumulating brand deals since he first gained popularity as a rapper back in 2014. In the beginning, he predominantly collaborated within the fashion industry, working with iconic brands such as Nike, Saint Laurent, Helmut Lang, and more. While Scott has continued his work in fashion, his innovative spirit would not let him stop there. Expanding into other areas of pop culture, Travis began venturing into partnerships with food brands such as Reese's Puffs Cereal, sports teams like the Houston Rockets, and toys and games such as Hot Wheels and Fortnite. These collaborations take many forms from customized and limited merchandise to music videos that double as advertisements, to special food deals tied to his name and brand. Intertwining his image with everyday brands and franchises (as opposed to high fashion alone) made his image more accessible and relatable, which strengthened his connection to his fans and even those unfamiliar with his music.

Travis coordinates these collaborations to coincide with the release dates of new music, as brands coordinate with the release of new products or services. These projects have been widely beneficial for both parties, resulting in positive brand recognition and multiple millions of dollars in revenue, the latter of which Scott is putting back into his community through the establishment of the Cactus Jack Foundation, which is dedicated to providing education and creative resources to youth across the country.

 Now let’s dive into a few of these collaborations, shall we?

Astronomical - Travis Scott x Fortnite

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, online concerts became the standard for consuming live music, albeit not a very popular standard. Rather than a typical live stream, Travis Scott took this opportunity to partner with one of the most popular gaming services at the moment, Epic Games, to give a live performance via Fortnite, known as Astronomical. Spectacular visuals accompanied his musical set which took up the virtual gaming island, allowing spectators to interact with the show as they would in a live setting. This event pushed the boundaries of what live music could look like in the digital arena and took strong creative direction from Scott and the Epic Games team. For more information on the experience check out this previous Hollywood Branded blog: Travis Scott Top Brand Partnerships.

Astronomical resulted in reportedly $20 million for Scott, including the sale of accompanying merchandise. The concert drew in a live crowd of 12.3 million people in the first showing, and 27.7 million in total across time zones, making it the largest event in Fortnite history. This led to a rise in in-game sales that benefited both Travis and Epic Games financially as well as in exposure.

 Additionally, Travis Scott’s avatar during the performance was sporting Air Jordan sneakers, which a report from Nielsen Esports estimates generated a brand exposure value for Nike of at least $518,000.

Travis Scott - Astronomical

Celebrity invite to brand event ebook

Cactus Jack Meal - Travis Scott x McDonalds

It is safe to assume that McDonald’s is the most well-known fast-food franchise in the world. They do not need celebrity endorsements to sell their products, nor does Travis Scott need an endorsement from them to go multi-platinum. So, what drew these two powerhouses together to create the Cactus Jack combo meal?

In the face of the ever-expanding diet industry, McDonald’s has been losing its younger consumers. Travis Scott provided the perfect way to win back their hearts by offering his go-to order as a combo meal - a quarter pounder with cheese, a medium sprite, and fries with barbecue sauce. This was a smashing success for both parties, with McDonald’s sales rising by 4.6% in the third quarter, after dropping 8.7% in the first. They also experienced a rare shortage of supplies to make the meal after ordering it became a trend on the app TikTok. Scott reports that he made approximately $20 million from this partnership, predominantly from merchandise sales sporting both the Cactus Jack and McDonald’s logos.

 For additional information check out this Hollywood Branded blog: A Deep Dive Into Travis Scott’s Multi-Layered Partnership With McDonald’s.

Travis Scott - McDonalds

The Trifecta - Travis Scott x Nike x PlayStation

Most recently, outside of his musical collaborations, Travis teamed up with long-time partner Nike to help promote the drop of the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5). First released in this campaign was a video posted to PlayStation’s official YouTube channel, as well as Scott’s Instagram, picturing the Sony team behind the PS5 five wearing PlayStation merchandise with the classic Cactus Jack embellishments, as well as a pair of limited edition PlayStation Nike Dunks, signaling that a merch drop was soon to follow.

 Fans could enter to win the Travis Scott x Nike x PlayStation Dunks at no cost, however, they were not available for retail sale. This limited offer tactic is common as it generates a lot of interest and attention to the products being advertised. There were only 5 pairs available to the public with millions entering to try their luck. And if the demand for these items from Scott’s fans was not clear enough, the sneakers are now being re-sold, with asking prices up to $100,000, and bids already well into the tens-of-thousands.

Travis Scott - PlayStation

Celebrity Social Media Webinar by Hollywood Branded

Cacti Spiked Seltzer - Travis Scott x Anheuser-Busch

Scott is stepping into the beverage industry with the impending launch of his new spiked seltzer brand Cacti. Partnering with Anheuser-Busch, the minds behind Stella Artois and Budwiser, the brand boasts “down to earth ingredients” with “out of this world flavor.” These prickly drinks share the iconic cactus imagery that is associated with Scott and Cactus Jack with a new bright twist, complementing the three fruity flavors: pineapple, lime, and strawberry. Each can, of which there will be three sizes, will contain Mexican blue agave and 7% alcohol.

Through this partnership, Travis is striking out in a completely new direction for him. There seem to be no limits to his creativity, entrepreneurship, and influence. The seltzer line will be dropping in March of 2021. We’re looking forward to seeing the impact this product line will have on both the Travis Scott and Anheuser-Busch brands.

Travis Scott - Cacti

Giving Back - The Cactus Jack Foundation

Travis Scott is raking in millions of dollars every day, but he is not keeping it all for himself. On November 18, 2020 (the third annual “Travis Scott Day” in Houston, TX), Scott announced the launch of his Cactus Jack Foundation. Partnering with his home town, the Cactus Jack Foundation is aimed at providing educational resources to Houston’s youth.

The foundation’s first initiative is the Waymon Webster Scholarship, named in honor of Travis’ grandfather, which provides scholarships covering tuition fees for students attending HBCUs.

The foundation is also partnering with the city to create Cactus Jack Gardens, a community garden initiative across elementary schools where students can learn about agriculture and nutrition in an effort to combat food insecurity.

Scott has also worked to partner the foundation with the New School’s Parsons School of Design to bring a fashion design program to Houston, as well as the nation at large through an online program. This program hopes to include youth who are often left out of creative education and equip them with the tools they need to prosper.

Travis Scott - CJF

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Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

The past few years have established Travis Scott as the number one pick for brand deals and creative collaborations. He and those he partners with find new and innovative ways to connect with audiences worldwide and support the continual growth of each other’s brands. Anything Scott puts his name on will surely turn to gold.

While Travis Scott is certainly at the top of his game, there are many other exciting and creative partnerships out there waiting to be explored! If you'd like to learn more about this field, check out the blogs below.

Want to learn more about how to connect celebrities to your brand? Check out the E-Book below for more information from industry professionals!

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