Georges St Pierre Chats Rum, Image and Time Off

Last night we hit The Fifth Pub House in Toronto for the celebration of George St-Pierre’s appointment as Bacardi Oakheart Rum’s Social Responsibility Ambassador. By now, even your mom has heard of St-Pierre (or GSP, as he is better known to some), the famed Canadian mixed martial artist and former welterweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He became the most successful and highest paid athlete in the sport, and is credited for the soaring popularity and increased acceptance of the MMA world. Despite his announcement in December to take time off from the UFC, he remains busy with endorsement deals and partnerships, like his recent gig with the beloved Bacardi brand. 

Aside from his unmatched athleticism, GSP is attractive to brands thanks to his squeaky clean public image. Unlike other public figures we know all too well, he has been free of DUIs, violent arrests or any documented unruly public behaviour. He has made millions simply from endorsement deals and has been linked to brands like Under Armour, Hayaboosa, MMA Gear, Coca-Cola, Google and NOS. Earlier this fall, Bacardi Canada announced their partnership with St-Pierre as the new official Social Responsibility Ambassador.   

Known for his ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle, St-Pierre’s control and discipline match Bacardi’s wish for its drinkers to exercise the same control when partying and to drink in moderation… something even the most seasoned partying young professionals need to be reminded of from time to time. For GSP himself, the partnership was a natural one. We caught up with GSP for as many words as we could fit into the minute(ish) time limit…

You are obviously an attractive fit to some of the world’s biggest brands due to your positive public image. Is this positive image something you consciously set out to maintain from the beginning? Or is it simply a refection of how you live your life?
In the case of Bacardi, I made a good choice for a few reasons, but it is because I love the brand as well. I like rum. When I go out, I like rum and Coke, or pineapple and Bacardi, so it is actually a product that I do love for real.

That makes sense. What else makes you a good fit for the Bacardi brand and for your designation as a Social Responsibility Ambassador?
As an athlete, I am young, you know, and I do try to carry myself with a good image and to be a positive role model. It is important. I am very honoured and privileged to be a part of this and to help drive home the message.

What is best part of taking time off from the industry? What can you do now that you couldn’t then?
I can do anything I want now. Literally. I can put my cell phone on the table and leave it there for one week and I don’t have to call anybody. I don’t have to work. I have made the money, so it is all pretty good right now. That is a freedom that I am privileged to have and to enjoy it. So far though, since I have stopped and because I am not forced to do it and don’t have any stress, I train every day because I actually like it, so I am actually probably in better shape than before.

And that was that. After the hungry line of reporters got their question(s) in, GSP reminded the crowd to drink responsibly in their partying for the evening, echoing the Bacardi campaign to ‘respect yourself, be yourself, know your limits’. He then hit the bar for a little Bacardi himself.

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