By Ryan Velez
Weight Watchers has seen some major boosts by leveraging celebrity endorsements, and according to CNN, a recent endorsement from DJ Khaled has fallen into this category. Shares of Weight Watchers (WTW) rose more than 6% on Tuesday, after signing the producer and global music figure as a “social media ambassador.”
This may raise some eyebrows, but Khaled mentioned that he lost 20 pounds using the program, and this news has spread to his massive legion of followers: 3.4 million on Facebook, 3.92 million on Twitter, 8.9 million on Instagram and a reported 3 million to 4 million views for his Snapchat posts.
This is comparable to the stock surge that came with Oprah Winfrey disclosing that she lost weight using Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers shares soared nearly 300% in 2017. Winfrey also bought a 10% stake in Weight Watchers and joined its board in addition to becoming a celebrity spokeswoman. (Winfrey acquired her shares for $43 million in October 2015. That investment is now worth $282 million.)
What’s notable about DJ Khaled, born Khaled Mohamed Khaled, is that his endorsement could do a lot more to reach a younger audience and a bigger male audience than Oprah did. “Being healthier is not just about weight anymore. It’s about overall health and wellness — being your best self,” Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman, who joined the company from HSN (HSNI) last year, said in a statement.
“By capturing and sharing his process, (DJ Khaled) will enliven and inspire his community, showing that it’s possible to integrate healthy habits into your life,” Grossman added.
Another hope is that DJ Khaled will also boost its new WW Freestyle program, which expands its famous “zero points” offerings beyond fruits and vegetables to things like eggs, beans, chicken, and seafood. Weight Watchers added that DJ Khaled would work with a Weight Watchers coach and use its mobile app to keep track of weight goals.
What’s not clear is whether or not DJ Khaled is also getting stock in return for his endorsement. However, if so, he could end up with a thinner body and bigger bank account—the type of trade-off anyone could enjoy.