Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photos: Getty Images; Loverboy
From Sonja Morgan’s toaster oven to Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl, launching a brand has become a rite of passage for Bravolebrities. Viewers have seen (and bought) it all, from Craig Conover’s pillows (Southern Charm) to Hannah Ferrier’s insect-repellent fans (Below Deck Mediterranean). Not to mention the flops, like Teresa Giudice’s short-lived peach sparkling wine, Fabellini, cases of which are surely somewhere in a Paterson, New Jersey, warehouse, seeping into our water supply. Or, famously, SHE by Shereé, which viewers saw go from a “fashion show with no fashions” in season one of The Real Housewives of Atlanta to phantom “joggers” set to be released in “September, spring, summer” in season ten.
Even so, Bravo fans will flock to get their hands on the novelty of Karen Huger’s La’Dame perfume or a Brooks Marks tracksuit — wearing them the way an NFL fan wears a jersey. Launching a brand has become such a common trope that the network has taken note and, after Frankel sold her company for a reported $100 million, now includes a “Bethenny clause” in contracts that cuts Bravo in on a brand’s success.
Although few of these products break through the Bravo bubble and into the mainstream the way Frankel’s Skinnygirl has, Loverboy is joining those exclusive ranks. The sparkling hard tea comes from Summer House’s Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula, and Carl Radke, who have been putting their drunken weekend antics in the Hamptons on display for five seasons now. The past three seasons have documented Loverboy’s inception by Cooke and Batula, who, after noticing the free exposure they were giving other alcohol brands, set out to make a drink of their own that was tastier than a hard seltzer but healthier than a Twisted Tea. The couple was soon joined by Radke, who now holds the position of vice-president of sales; he and Batula have both quit their day jobs to join Loverboy full time.
Available in nearly 15 states, on the shelves of retailers like Whole Foods and Target (and with a social following greater than its competitor Truly’s), the brand has transcended the Bravo fandom, meaning someone with a Hibiscus Pom Loverboy in their hand may not even be privy to the latest fight its founder got into with his Hamptons housemate. The entrepreneurial trio talked to the Cut about reality-TV stigma, their booming merch line, and using their Bravo platform to create a business that can stand on its own.
When you decided to go into this business, were you gearing it toward Bravo’s built-in audience?
Cooke: It’s less about Bravo’s built-in audience; it’s really today’s consumer. But it also coincides with who’s buying these progressive adult beverages, right? I looked at all the consumer data, and women are pretty underrepresented and underserved in alcohol. And then here we are on Bravo, the No. 1–rated network among women. That was when it all started to click. I mean, if Carl and I were left to our own devices, we would have made some bro-ey seltzer called, like, Send It, but it was looping in Amanda as a target consumer and saying, “What kind of brand would you like to see?”
Do you watch other Bravo shows and take note of what kinds of products work with this audience and which ones fall flat?
Batula: I’m a huge Bravo fan. I think it’s obvious that the overall theme of a lot of these businesses that do flop is that they’re products that already exist that these women and men are just slapping their own label on instead of completely embodying what the brand is, which is what we do with Loverboy. I don’t put anything out there unless I would drink it myself. And as Kyle will tell you, I’m probably the hardest critic and give the most feedback.
Cooke: I think when you’re actually building something instead of slapping your name on something, people are going to root for you. Because why go support a celebrity if they’re not even running the brand?
Do you think getting to showcase the behind-the-scenes of the brand — everything from the business successes to the knock-down, drag-out fights — creates a stronger connection with your consumer in a way traditional marketing can’t?
Cooke: Absolutely. And we actually do a pretty bad job. We’re so busy. We don’t show enough of it, and Bravo, they don’t want to turn it into a Loverboy commercial. So there’s only so much of our work lives that they show. But the more we can show, the more loyalty we would actually foster, just because people would appreciate the hard work.
It’s like instead of having the little “Our Story” blurb on the side of a can, you have 15 episodes a year and people can watch it.
Cooke: It’s so true. We actually go back and forth, like, Should we tell our story on the cans, or should we just point people to TV?
Obviously, the product is an organic part of your story line, but how much of its placement in the show is strategic marketing? There seem to be a lot of games that involve those cans.
Cooke: Anytime it feels deliberate, Bravo will literally stop us in our tracks because it needs to feel natural. Sometimes I’ll be wearing a Loverboy shirt, and they’ll be like, “Kyle, do you mind changing?” I’m like, “Sure.” I don’t want people thinking Bravo’s in cahoots with us. We have to be cognizant of it. This isn’t a show about Loverboy; it’s a show about a group of friends.
It has been reported that Bravo will include what’s referred to as a “Bethenny clause” in its contracts, giving the network a percentage of any businesses promoted on the show. Is that happening with Loverboy?
Cooke: It is a real thing because, you know, Bethenny, for lack of a better way to put it, kind of pumped and dumped that thing in two years. She built it on the back of RHONY and then sold it. The Bethenny clause has never been actually executed [that Cooke is aware of]. It’s in everybody’s contract since the sale of Skinnygirl, but I don’t know if anyone’s built anything of significance since. The network’s not in the business of trying to be equity holders of an alcohol company.
Last season, we saw how your merchandise became a huge part of the business. Do you think that’s something that would normally be a big part of a brand like this, or does it come more from the show’s fandom?
Batula: I think it’s a mix of both. We’ve always wanted it to become a lifestyle brand. We wanted it to be more than just our teas, and we created a family. People have gone absolutely crazy for the merch. I love sweats, so I’ve been creating stuff for me that I want to wear and it’s really resonated with our customers.
Cooke: The most successful merch pieces are the pieces Amanda designed from scratch just based on what she wanted. Just to put it into perspective, we sold $200,000 worth of merch over the weekend. Show me another brand doing that. Alcohol is an industry where the suppliers have to give away the T-shirts at the bar.
I’ve had the experience of seeing someone with a Loverboy and trying to strike up a Bravo conversation and they have no idea what I’m talking about. Have you been able to get a sense of how much of your clientele comes via Bravo and how much from elsewhere?
Radke: Kyle and Amanda really wanted to create a brand that could live on its own. And, you know, I definitely see that a lot now; more and more, people have picked it up at a barbecue or had a friend recommend it without even seeing Summer House.
Cooke: That’s when we look at each other at an event and high-five each other when someone gets introduced to Loverboy and they’re there supporting us and they don’t even watch Summer House. That’s the best feeling.
Do you think Loverboy has had to overcome a stigma from being part of a reality-TV show, albeit a very entertaining one?
Cooke: I think reality TV as a whole still has a stigma. We certainly had to work past that. You know, I’ve got my M.B.A. — a lot of people thought I was crazy to do reality television, but if you play your cards right, it can become a platform. And the question is, How are you gonna utilize it? I looked at Summer House like half shits and giggles. Like, why not film something we were already doing, going out to the Hamptons? Then, if it’s successful, I’ll find a way to leverage it. And sure enough, it became very obvious what the opportunity was.
Radke: I definitely have guys all the time that go, “Oh, I don’t give a crap about Bravo,” and then two seconds later a girl will stop me on the street and freak out and want to take a picture — that gets their attention.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Loverboy on your upcoming (insanely titled) spinoff, Summer House Winter Charm, but besides that, what does the future look like for the brand?
Cooke: Hopefully, by summer of next year, every major metro will have Loverboy. We have direct-to-consumer cocktails — currently, spritz and our espresso martini, which we just brought back. We’re breaking through the bubble and trying to turn this into a mainstream brand, not just among Bravo fans.
- reality tv
- summer house
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In our walled garden, we grow fresh mint, lavender and other herbs to compliment the natural fruit juices and spices which make our drinks so fresh and tangy. We combine these ingredients with slightly sparkling Scottish water to help you feel restored and refreshed.What is Kyle from Summer House worth? ›
Kyle Cooke — $1.1 million
Kyle is reportedly worth $1.1 million. The entrepreneur's earnings come from his nutrition subscription service, FENIX, which he developed in 2016. In 2018, Kyle launched Loverboy and has been focused on both businesses.
Summer Water Rose alcohol content 12.5% by volume, per the bottle.What does summer water taste like? ›
Product description. Nationally recognized as a favorite across the US, Summer Water is more than the rosé of the season, it's a state of mind — every drop full of pink-tinted possibility. Dry, light and perfectly crisp — with notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit, and white peach.Does the Summer House cast pay for the house? ›
They're Not Actually Renting The House
As it turned out, Reality Titbit mentioned that Stephen McGee confirmed the cast did not pay for the home they vacationed in — Bravo did. "Even though the house is big and you see all of our rooms, there's rooms that were used for storage, production, and cameras.
While the exact amount of money each star makes from the reality series is not known, multiple outlets report that the cast members' salary most likely ranges from $10,000 to $20,000 per episode. There were 14 episodes during season 5, meaning the reality TV stars earned an estimated $140,000 to $280,000 per season.How much debt is Kyle in? ›
Summer House's Kyle Cooke Breaks Down After Revealing He's $4 Million in Debt.Does drinking water with alcohol help liver? ›
If you are drinking alcohol, ensure you drink plenty of water too—just alternate drinks. This will allow your liver to better process the alcohol and reduce damage.Does vodka water hydrate you? ›
If you're looking for a hydrating beverage, alcohol won't make the grade. Alcohol functions as a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more, leaving less fluid in your blood and potentially leading to dehydration.Which alcohol is best in summer? ›
Gin. At home in any number of fizzy, refreshing drinks, gin is perhaps the perfect summer spirit. Classic drinks of the season include such venerables as the Tom Collins, the Gin Rickey and of course, the Gin and Tonic, along with a number of cooling relatives.
Summer Water started in 2014 as a collaboration between Winc and Yes Way Rosé.Which water is tastiest? ›
- Smart Water. Smart Water is bottled still water that is further enriched with electrolytes. ...
- Mountain Valley. “Back to the source,” says the Mountain Valley's motto, and when you take a sip from this bottled water you'd know what they mean. ...
- Fiji. ...
- Voss. ...
Can we drink pure water? Yes,but pure water has no color, taste, or smell because there are no minerals or trace elements.How staged is Summer House? ›
While it's been said that Summer House is one of the more real reality shows on Bravo, there have also been some forced, scripted, or fake moments in the series that have been confirmed by both the cast and crew.Who cleans the Summer House? ›
The State of the House
According to producers, the cast's house gets really messy and in a disarray "immediately after they arrive." Although the house can get a bit chaotic and disheveled, one weekender does his best to help out. Producers say that Carl Radke ALWAYS takes out the trash and cleans up.
David Marvisi, a former nightclub owner, is listed on the permit as the sole proprietor, and in the inspection and indemnity agreement in April, he listed himself as a member of the limited liability corporation that owned the property, 2136 Deerfield Property LLC.Who is the CEO of Summer House? ›
Kyle Cooke of Bravo's 'Summer House' shares the playbook his hard tea brand used to generate $38 million in sales and compete with legacy brands.How much does scheana shay make per episode? ›
Cast member Scheana Shay's net worth has continued to grow with the rise of her podcast, Shenanigans. However, it's said she made between $10,000 and $25,000 per episode of VPR.How much is Carl and Lindsay's apartment? ›
Check out the video above to take a tour of Lindsay and Carl's $13,000-a-month apartment, and scroll down to the clip below to see more of Lindsay's recent WWHL appearance. Watch Summer House on Bravo Mondays at 9/8c and the next day on Peacock.Who holds the $30 trillion US debt? ›
The Federal Government Has Borrowed Trillions, But Who Owns All that Debt? At the end of 2022, the nation's gross debt had reached nearly $31.4 trillion. Of that amount, about $24.5 trillion, or 78 percent, was debt held by the public — representing cash borrowed from domestic and foreign investors.
Former Société Générale rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel owes the bank $6.3 billion. Here's what his case tells us about financial reform.Who owes the most debt in US? ›
Japan and China have been the largest foreign holders of US debt for the last two decades.What did they put in the tap water? ›
To prevent contamination with germs, water companies add a disinfectant—usually either chlorine or chloramine—that kills disease-causing germs such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and norovirus.Does summer water have sugar? ›
A: Hi, thank you for inquiry. Our Summer Water wines are completely sugar free and the alcohol is within the average alcohol content.What was the drink of the summer? ›
Last year, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Southern Living all tapped the Dirty Shirley to be the official drink of the summer.Which water is best to drink in summer? ›
Lemon water is not only tasty but also has a lot of health benefits. In addition, you can also drink herbal tea, which is loaded with antioxidants and also helps in maintaining your weight.What is the most contaminated water in the United States? ›
The Mississippi River
This once pristine waterway is perhaps the most polluted in the United States. Part of the problem stems from agriculture. The Mississippi River traverses much of America's heartland, drawing no end of runoff from factory farms. Animal waste isn't the only problem.
Germs and other contaminants are found in rainwater.
While useful for many things, rainwater is not as pure as you might think, so you cannot assume it is safe to drink.
Overall, it appears that tap water is a better option in most cases. It is convenient, free or inexpensive, and has much less of an environmental impact than bottled water. Tap water is also just as safe as bottled water, and most people will not be able to tell the difference in taste.Is hot water and sugar good for you? ›
Only drinking sugar and water serves the purpose of replenishing your body better. This is also healthier because sometimes unknown substances are used to enhance your post activity high.
Usually, the wine is labelled rosé in French, Portuguese, and English-speaking countries, rosado in Spanish, or rosato in Italian.What is the most refreshing alcoholic drink? ›
- Sweet Summer Watermelon Vodka Cocktail. ...
- Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri. ...
- Blue Hawaii. ...
- Smooth Berry-Banana Daiquiri. ...
- Summertime Sangria. ...
- Refreshing Mint Julep. ...
- Dark and Stormy. ...
- Zesty Summer Margarita.
- Brandy Alexander.
- Harvey Wallbanger.
- Piña Colada.
- The Pink Squirrel.
- Tequila Sunrise.
- Tom Collins.
- The Pink Lady.
Milk is more hydrating than water
For example, milk was found to be even more hydrating than plain water because it contains the sugar lactose, some protein and some fat, all of which help to slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach and keep hydration happening over a longer period.
- Moscow Mule. ...
- Berry Vodka Smash. ...
- Classic Mojito. ...
- Red Sangria. ...
- The Tequila Sunrise. ...
- White Wine Spritzer. ...
- Germain Cocktail. The Germain Cocktail is a refreshing summer drink made with St. ...
- Classic Daiquiri. The basic daiquiri is a simple drink made with only three readily common components.
The best: Water: It goes without saying that water is the best and most effective way to stay hydrated during the summer. Devoid of excess sugars, salts, and unnecessary additives, pure water is what the human body craves.