Saturday, July 2, 2022
News for Independent BusinessComedian and Entrepreneur Kevin Hart Owns Comedy

Comedian and Entrepreneur Kevin Hart Owns Comedy

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Unquestionably, Kevin Hart is one of the funniest and most talented guys in Hollywood. From stand-up acts to feature films, he is a star. As one might expect, it wasn’t always this way. In 2009, when he took out a two-year lease on just a small portion of office space to house his startup, HartBeat Productions, Hart was worried he wasn’t going to be able to afford it.

This was before his comedy specials became some of the highest-grossing of all time. Hart changed the economic paradigm that typically succumbed to the Hollywood elite. Historically, comedians and actors, even very successful ones, are simply cogs in a very large machine. They are essentially the product. They work hard, save what they can, but when the light fades on their career, they are forgotten for the most part.

Especially financially. Hart was out to change this, and not let the machine get the better of him and his career. He wanted to create something lasting. Something that will go on when you’re done. In the classic jargon of an entrepreneur, he emboldened the concept of don’t make money mostly for other people. Own what you do. Kevin Hart has created a sustainable, revenue-­generating enterprise that should endure.

Hart has a game plan committed to partnering with companies instead of doing one-time deals. He wants to create long term relationships with a handful of brands that can be carried forward. The Mountain Dew partnership includes a tie-in with his love of the NBA, and an ongoing ringside seat for the celebrity to mix it up with the players and fans. According to Forbes, Hart was the second highest paid comedian in 2017. Hart made $32 million last year, and more than 20% of his earnings came from branded partnerships with the likes of Nike and Tommy John. With one of the largest celebrity social media followings, he counts over 23 million followers on Facebook and over 35 million on Twitter. Hart can command seven figures to tout products. However, he says, he does it for more than the money. Successful partnerships act as resume builders.

The big time business move came when he and a partner were turned down by studios for his Laugh at my Pain film. According to partner Jeff Clanagan, “We took it to AMC Theaters, and they loved the film. We self-distributed it into their theaters. We had to put the prints together, we had to ship it to the theaters, make the posters; we did all the marketing ourselves.” This enabled Hart and Clanagan to turn the corner into the big time. Hart had become more than a star, he was now a successful business person.  With that said, stand-up is still what he likes to do and where the majority of his annual income comes from. In 2016, over $70 million of his $87.5 million in earnings came from touring, Forbes estimates. He grossed an average of $1 million per show, putting him in the upper echelons of on-stage performers. Like any successful entrepreneur, Hart loves what he does. “There is a high level of love for what I do. That’s my craft, that’s how it started. I would never turn my back on stand up; it opened up the doors I walk through now.” He is a very funny and successful guy.

 

 

Figure 1Kevin Hart Mountain Dew Commercial

Hart has a game plan committed to partnering with companies instead of doing one-time deals. He wants to create long term relationships with a handful of brands that can be carried forward. The Mountain Dew partnership includes a tie-in with his love of the NBA, and an ongoing ringside seat for the celebrity to mix it up with the players and fans. According to Forbes, Hart was the second highest paid comedian in 2017. Hart made $32 million last year, and more than 20% of his earnings came from branded partnerships with the likes of Nike and Tommy John. With one of the largest celebrity social media followings, he counts over 23 million followers on Facebook and over 35 million on Twitter. Hart can command seven figures to tout products. However, he says, he does it for more than the money. Successful partnerships act as resume builders.

The big time business move came when he and a partner were turned down by studios for his Laugh at my Pain film. According to partner Jeff Clanagan, “We took it to AMC Theaters, and they loved the film. We self-distributed it into their theaters. We had to put the prints together, we had to ship it to the theaters, make the posters; we did all the marketing ourselves.” This enabled Hart and Clanagan to turn the corner into the big time. Hart had become more than a star, he was now a successful business person.  With that said, stand-up is still what he likes to do and where the majority of his annual income comes from. In 2016, over $70 million of his $87.5 million in earnings came from touring, Forbes estimates. He grossed an average of $1 million per show, putting him in the upper echelons of on-stage performers. Like any successful entrepreneur, Hart loves what he does. “There is a high level of love for what I do. That’s my craft, that’s how it started. I would never turn my back on stand up; it opened up the doors I walk through now.” He is a very funny and successful guy.

 

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