Liquid Death Renames Arnold Palmer-Inspired Drink To ‘Dead Billionaire’ After Legal Threat

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The threat of a ineligible conflict betwixt 2 of nan hottest brands successful beverages has led Liquid Death to rename a portion that bore Arnold Palmer’s sanction to “Dead Billionaire”—a move that drew backlash from fans of nan precocious golfer whose sanction inspired a celebrated lemonade-iced beverage blend.

Arnold Palmer hits retired a bunker during nan Par 3 Contest astatine nan 2008 Masters Tournament astatine Augusta ... [+] National Golf Club.


Key Facts

Liquid Death, a sparkling h2o marque founded successful 2017 that had a $700 cardinal backstage valuation arsenic of April, announced this week it would alteration nan sanction of its half-tea-half-lemonade beverage from “Armless Palmer” to “Dead Billionaire,” aft what it characterized arsenic a ineligible threat from nan property of nan golfer.

In a station to Instagram, Liquid Death said it would beryllium trading nan "EXACT same" portion nether nan "way cooler sanction that won't require america to conflict a senseless ineligible conflict pinch a ample endeavor who sent america a missive saying we can't usage nan connection ‘Palmer.’”

Liquid Death said nan ineligible threat came from entities that person "far much $$$ to pain connected ineligible fees than we do,” and added nan caller packaging will deed unit shelves successful nan spring.

Liquid Death did not specify if a threat came from Palmer’s estate, nan Arizona Beverage Company aliases Innovative Flavors, which owns nan licensing authorities to Arnold Palmer Iced Tea, nor person immoderate of those groups publically commented connected nan rumor aliases confirmed nan threat.

The sanction alteration was met pinch disapproval from immoderate connected X who based on nan caller sanction was “classless” and “heartless”: Dan Rapaport of Barstool Sports called nan move “icky,” while play blogger Jared Doerfler said it was a "bad look."

Representatives for Liquid Death, Arizona Beverage, Innovative Flavors and Palmer’s property did not instantly respond to Forbes’ petition for remark Wednesday.

Key Background

Palmer told ESPN the thought for mixing iced beverage and lemonade was calved astatine a luncheon made by his first wife, to whom he was joined from 1954 to 1999. He liked nan concoction truthful overmuch he took a thermos pinch him to nan play people and successful nan 60s could beryllium overheard ordering it astatine restaurants. In 2000, a trio of friends astatine a play club—Mark Downey, Chris Byrd, Charley Beck—had nan idea to commencement trading nan half-lemonade-half-tea portion nether nan legendary golfer’s sanction and presented a business scheme to his agents. Their company, Innovative Flavors, was granted a licence to usage his sanction and soon aft collaborated pinch nan Arizona Beverage Company for manufacturing and distribution. Arizona has been trading versions of nan beverage—including a powdered portion mix—in cans and bottles base his image and signature since 2002. Success of nan portion wasn’t precisely instant, but by 2008 nan beverage was doubling its income and, wrong 10 years nan marque had deed $100 cardinal successful sales, CNBC reported. Sales had surpassed $300 cardinal by 2022, Byrd told Golf Week, and nan marque has continued to turn pinch nan creation of an alcoholic type of nan portion by Miller-Coors successful 2017, which had grown into a $50-million business by past year.

Big Number

1 million. Byrd told Golf Week that Arizona was trading "the balanced of a cardinal cans a day" of nan Arnold Palmer beverage successful 2002.

Forbes Valuation

Palmer, who died successful 2016, was tied pinch Marilyn Monroe astatine No. 12 connected Forbes' database of nan highest-paid dormant celebrities. The precocious golfer is said to person made $10 cardinal successful 2023, mostly from beverage royalties. Golf Digest reported successful 2017 that Palmer's full property was weighted astatine $875 million, pinch nan bulk of his assets to beryllium divided betwixt his 2 daughters. Don Vultaggio, nan proprietor of nan Arizona Beverage Company, is worthy an estimated $6.2 billion.

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESHow Arnold Palmer Earned $875 Million During Legendary Career In GolfBy Kurt BadenhausenMORE FROM FORBESEven With A $700 Million Valuation, Liquid Death May Need A Lot Of Luck To Become Liquid GoldBy Chloe SorvinoMORE FROM FORBESThe Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2023By Marisa Dellatto