The business genius of Travis Scott: How the rapper built a nearly $40 million net worth through music and lucrative partnerships with brands like Nike and McDonald’s

mc donalds travis scott
Travis Scott surprises crew and customers at McDonald's for the launch of the Travis Scott Meal on September 08, 2020 in Downey, California.
  • Travis Scott is a singer, lyricist, and producer who collaborates with brands across food, fashion, and entertainment.
  • Scott collaborated with McDonald's in September 2020 to make the Travis Scott meal.
  • The deal also included Cactus Jack shirts for employees, McDonald's-themed merch, and a commercial starring the rapper. Cactus Jack is Scott's record label.
  • The hip-hop artist's partnership with McDonald's is just the latest example of his ability to combine music, fashion, and well-known brands. 
  • Take a look inside how Scott made his $40 million fortune, from collaborating on clothing lines to hosting video game concerts.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Rapper Travis Scott has many talents. He writes, produces, and performs music, with notable hits like "Sicko Mode" and "Antidote." Scott also has his own record label, Cactus Jack Records.

Beyond the music industry, Scott has designed clothes and shoes, collaborating with major brands like Nike.

In April 2020, Scott hosted a series of free virtual concerts on the popular video game Fortnite. Over 27 million fans tuned in and the three-day event led to a massive boost in Cactus Jack merch sales, Forbes reported. 

Most recently, Scott partnered up with McDonald's to create the $6 Travis Scott meal — a Quarter Pounder with cheese, bacon, and lettuce, and medium fries with BBQ Sauce, and a Sprite. McDonald's released the meal on September 8 and it will be available until October 4.

Around the same time, Scott released Cactus Jack merch inspired by McDonald's. Some items included a $250 pair of denim shorts and a $90 body pillow in the shape of the chicken nugget. Scott also stars in a commercial about the meal.

Business Insider obtained a survey of more than 700 members of McDonald's independent National Operators Association stating that many franchisees opposed the deal because of some of Scott's more explicit lyrics. 

In an interview with Business Insider, McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley said that the brand collaborated with Scott to reach a younger audience. 

"His ability to kind of see where culture is going and have a hand in where culture is going is really unique," Flatley said.

Here's how Travis Scott built his brand and makes his fortune.

Musician Travis Scott has an estimated net worth of about $39.5 million, per Forbes. His revenue comes from a combination of producing music and merch, touring, and partnering with major brands like Nike and MLB team Houston Astros.
Travis Scott E11EVEN Miami
Travis Scott is seen performing at E11EVEN Miami during Art Week 2019 on December 6, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

Sources: Forbes

Scott grew up in Houston, Texas. He comes from a family of musicians and has been involved with music since high school. He attended the University of Texas at San Antonio for two years before dropping out to focus on his career.
Travis Scott
Musician Travis Scott is introduced as the home-field advantage captain as the Indianapolis Colts play the Houston Texans during the Wild Card Round at NRG Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Source: Rolling Stone, GQ

Scott was in a relationship with Kylie Jenner from April 2017 to October 2019. The two share a child, Stormi Webster, who was born in February 2018.
Travis Scott, Stormi Webster and Kylie Jenner
Travis Scott, Stormi Webster and Kylie Jenner attend the Premiere Of Netflix's "Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly" at Barker Hangar on August 27, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.

Source: Insider

 

Scott signed with Epic Records in 2012 and released his debut album, "Rodeo", in 2015. In 2016, he released "Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight," followed by "Astroworld" in 2018. His 2019 Astroworld tour grossed $53.5 million.
Travis Scott  2019 Boston Calling Music Festival
Travis Scott performs onstage during Day 3 of 2019 Boston Calling Music Festival on May 26, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Source: Spotify, Mic, Forbes

Much of Scott's income comes from his collaborations with major brands. In September 2020, he announced a month-long partnership with McDonald's.
Travis Scott
Travis Scott surprises crew and customers at McDonald's for the launch of the Travis Scott Meal on September 08, 2020 in Downey, California.

Source: Forbes, Business Insider, Forbes

The collaboration includes Scott's new McDonald's-inspired merchandise under his label, Cactus Jack, custom t-shirts for employees, the $6 Travis Scott meal, and a new advertisement featuring Scott and his version of the fast-food chain's signature jingle.
mc donalds travis scott
People wear protective face masks outside McDonald's in Union Square as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 13, 2020 in New York City.

Source: Business Insider

While Scott's deal is the fast-food chain's first celebrity meal deal since Michael Jordan's 1992 McJordan burger, it's certainly not Scott's first partnership. Scott has made deals with brands across fashion, food, and entertainment.
Travis Scott seen out and about in Manhattan on February 6, 2020 in New York City.
Travis Scott seen out and about in Manhattan on February 6, 2020.

Source: Variety

 

In April 2020, Scott held a concert series within the video game "Fortnite." More than 12 million players watched the first night. While the concert was free, the virtual Scott-themed merch in the game was not. Billboard predicts that with a typical revenue share between Fortnite and Scott, he likely made about $2.5 million from virtual merch sales.
travis scott fortnite concert
A view of Fortnite featuring Travis Scott Presents: Astronomical on April 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, United States. Travis Scott + Cactus Jack have partnered with Fortnite to produce Astronomical, an in-game experiential performance and the world premiere of a new song.

Source: Business Insider, Billboard

More than 27 million players participated in the event across three days, which boosted Scott's Cactus Jack merch sales, per Forbes.
]11-year-old Ansel, the photographer’s son, plays Fortnite featuring Travis Scott Presents: Astronomical on April 23, 2020 in South Pasadena, California. Travis Scott + Cactus Jack have partnered with Fortnite to produce Astronomical, a one of a kind in-game experiential performance and the world premiere of a new song.
11-year-old Ansel, the photographer's son, plays Fortnite featuring Travis Scott Presents: Astronomical on April 23, 2020 in South Pasadena, California. Travis Scott + Cactus Jack have partnered with Fortnite to produce Astronomical, a one of a kind in-game experiential performance and the world premiere of a new song.

Source: Forbes

 

In 2019, the rapper partnered up with General Mills to design a box of Reese's Puffs, USA Today reported. The $50 limited edition boxes sold out in 30 seconds, according to the company.
Travis Scott 'Reese’s Puffs'
Travis Scott attends the launch of the 'Reese’s Puffs' pop up store on June 25, 2019 in Paris, France.

Source: USA Today, Reese's Puffs/Twitter

Scott collaborated with minimalist fashion brand Helmut Lang in January 2017 to design clothing. This capsule collection contains 19 pieces, including shirts, shoes, denim, and jackets ranging from $175 to $1,715.
Helmut Lang X Travis Scott collection
General view of the Helmut Lang X Travis Scott collection at Barneys New York Beverly Hills on January 30, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California.

Source: Vogue

Scott is also known for his many collaborations with Nike since 2017. He has redesigned iconic Nike styles like the Air Force 1, the Jordan 6, and the Dunk.
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6
A limited edition of the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6 sneaker is displayed in a shop as part of the 'raffles' on October 8, 2019 in Paris.

Source: GQ, Sneakers Magazine

In 2019, Scott collaborated with his hometown team, the Houston Astros, to design a limited edition baseball cap.
Rap Artist Travis Scott reacts after throwing the first pitch before the game between the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on April 6, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
Rap Artist Travis Scott reacts after throwing the first pitch before the game between the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on April 6, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Source: KHOU 11

The producer and performer has been nominated for seven Grammy's since 2013. In 2018, Scott's "Astroworld" sold 270,000 copies and 349 million streams. Two years earlier, "Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight" sold 88,000 copies during its debut week.
Verdine White and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire perform with Travis Scott and James Blake onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Source: Grammy Awards, New York Times, Rolling Stone

In 2019, Scott received backlash for performing at the Super Bowl following Colin Kaepernick's NFL protests. In partnership with the NFL, Scott donated $500,000 to Dream Corps, a nonprofit organization, and other initiatives.
travis scott super bowl
Travis Scott crowd surfs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Source: Vox

Scott spends a significant chunk of his fortune on real estate. He purchased a $23.5 million mansion in Los Angeles' Brentwood neighborhood, Variety reported in June 2020. In 2016, he bought a house for his parents in Houston.
Travis Scott Astroworld Festival
Travis Scott performs in concert during his second annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 9, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Source: Variety, Rolling Stone, Hypebeast

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