Weight Watchers International was having a rough trading day on Jan. 1
Shares had tumbled 6.54 percent — a $3.1 loss per share — but news of a new hire turned that around.
The New York City-based weight management giant, which counts Oprah Winfrey as an owner and board member, has hired DJ Khaled as its new social media ambassador.
Share prices rose 8 percent on Tuesday after the announcement.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 2, 2018
A record producer, radio personality and DJ, Khaled has worked with many A-list artists and has produced 10 studio albums of his own since 2006. It doesn’t hurt that Khaled has 3.92 million followers on Twitter. He also gets 3 million to 4 million views per Snap on Snapchat and has 8.9 million followers on Instagram, according to CNBC.
He’ll be losing weight and documenting his progress on social media in the WW Freestyle weight-loss program. Followers will be able to follow his weight loss journey on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
“Weight Watchers is all about being great and being your best self,” Khaled said in a prepared statement. “My son is my love, my life, and I need to be great for him. To be great is to be healthy; to be healthy means a shift in my lifestyle, and the new WW Freestyle program is all about healthier habits for my life. The WW program and community is my partner in this process to greatness, and I’m grateful for what’s to come and to share my journey with you all.”
Oprah was featured in the December launch of WW Freestyle. She holds a 9.87 percent stake in Weight Watchers and has earned about $300 million since investing in the company in 2015, CNBC reported. Her endorsements boost sales and stock value.
Oprah has helped boost Weight Watchers stock 500 percent. It’s part of a corporate strategy to tie the Weight Watcher brand to influential celebrities, and it’s working, according to Business Insider:
“Weight Watchers, which was trading below $7 per share in October 2015, doubled in a single day on Oprah’s initial announcement. Since then, the stock has exploded by more than 574 percent, including almost 300 percent in 2017 alone. And it’s been a mutually beneficial set-up, with Oprah’s full stake in the company reaching a value of more than $500 million along the way. Short interest on Weight Watchers — a measure of bets that a stock will drop — declined by more than $10 million, or 59 percent, in 2017 as shares rallied, according to data compiled by financial analytics firm S3 Partners. In other words, traders are relatively unhedged, and they’re not directionally bearish. And with the stock up as much as 7 percent on Tuesday, the so-called “Oprah effect” looks alive and well with DJ Khaled as a new driving force.”
Weight Watchers is counting on Khaled “incredibly authentic drive and passion to inspire others through his wellness journey and experiences on WW Freestyle,” said Mindy Grossman, president and CEO of Weight Watchers International, Inc., in a press release.
Smart move? ⚡️ “DJ Khaled is Weight Watchers' newest ambassador”https://t.co/wLJRe88bWY
— Andy Beal (@AndyBeal) January 3, 2018
— PAUSE Magazine (@Pause_Online) January 3, 2018