Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pitbull: Get Rich or Die Shilling

Pitbull, born Armando Pérez, self-titled Mr. Worldwide, and often known simply as Pit, slides into his seat at a hotel restaurant about 25 minutes inland from South Beach. The place is well outside the Miami party scene and its paparazzi, and is either purposefully retro—deco chairs, white tablecloths, a waitress who must be 80 wearing bright coral lipstick—or hasn’t been updated in 50 years. It’s empty save for one of the biggest pop stars in the world and a group of his associates, all wearing suits, and clustered at two tables. Pitbull taps his water glass, and the waitress hurries over to fill it. His lawyer, Leslie Zigel, hands him an agenda, which offers topics like “Endorsement Deal Matters,” “Investments,” and, in capital letters, “DISRUPTION.”
Zigel and Pitbull started working together in 2010, after Pitbull closed his first major sponsorship deal, with Dr Pepper, which Zigel was representing at the time. “He told me he appreciated my approach to dealmaking and asked if I would consider joining his team,” says Zigel. “I’m a jazz bass player, and he liked that I thought like a musician, not a typical lawyer.” Zigel looks like Stanley Tucci and speaks to Pitbull encouragingly, like a cheerful high school gym teacher.

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