Sunday, January 2, 2005
The Two Billion Dollar Man
Sid Frank, also known to many as the "Two Billion Dollar Man" is busy giving away the money he has made recently by clever packaging and marketing of vodka according to this New York Times story (registration required):
Mr. Frank, 85, is the chairman and chief executive of the Sidney Frank Importing Company, which has its headquarters here. He earned his new moniker in June, when he sold his vodka brand, Grey Goose, to Bacardi. Industry estimates put the sale price at close to $2.3 billion.
Since then, the ebullient Mr. Frank has been busy giving away bits of his newfound wealth - $100 million here [to Brown University for scholarships], $10 million there - and he is having a great time doing it. "I just love giving money away," he said.
Mr. Frank's fortune is a testament to the power of consumer marketing and clever packaging in the liquor business. In a lifelong career marked by some notable ups and downs, he has mastered the technique of creating an aura of mystique around products that offer, to most people, little to distinguish one bottle of vodka, gin or whiskey from another.