SOULJABOY ‘JUMPED THE GUN' ON WORLD POKER FUND HOLDINGS DEAL (Update)
This exercise is sounding more like a PR stunt every day.
For the last three weeks would-be international online poker operator World Poker Fund Holdings has been riding the crest of a publicity wave that started when US rapper Soulja Boy claimed he had inked a $400 million social gaming deal with the company, potentially ranking him with the top entertainers in the business .
Whilst there were many who expressed doubts about the credibility of such a deal, the entertainment press in particular lapped it up, and was perhaps the target audience WPFH was aiming for in order to generate business and possibly investment for the company's nascent Celebrity.com brand.
Amidst some rather blunt criticism of the press release from various sources, Forbes published the true nature of this offer Monday, explaining that the company has a market capitalisation of just under $52 million, and in its annual accounts last year acknowledged a loss of $400,000. And in four years it has yet to post a profit.
"So how is a company that is worth just north of $50 million going to pay out $400 million to their celebrity endorser?" Forbes asks. "The answer is, they’re not. The deal, according to [company spokesman] Matthew Bird, includes both stock and revenue-sharing.
Contacted by Forbes, Bird attempted to explain how this strange situation has come about, saying:
“He [Soulja Boy] really kind of jumped the gun. The deal is capped at $400 million, and it’s based on a forward-thinking valuation of the company. He’s young, he’s 25 years old. He got really excited, and he tweeted something he probably shouldn’t have tweeted. He was getting a lot of pressure from within the entertainment community, so he wanted to put a statement out. Obviously, the company’s market cap is at $51.8 million. There’s no way they could cut a $400 million deal. Endorsement deals are calculated on a lot of different factors. This is not a fully cash transaction.”