Rock music legend and television personality Gene Simmons is joining the marketing team at Vancouver’s Invictus, an administrative and marketing company that represents a number of small Canadian licensed cannabis producers.
Simmons played bass and sang in the band Kiss, which formed in 1973. On stage, his persona was called The Demon, and he was frequently decked out in black and white face paint, spiky armour and was known for fully extending his tongue – which is longer than average – outside of his mouth.
"Gene Simmons is a branding and merchandising genius, who not only created one of the most iconic bands of all time, but has spent decades building successful brands internationally in various industries," said Dan Kriznic, Invictus’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Gene will lead marketing initiatives that will help spread the positive messages that dwell at the heart of Invictus in accordance with the strict regulations of Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Regulations, the Food and Drugs Act and the Narcotic Control Regulations."
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Kiss was known for its massive merchandise offerings, which went above and beyond the usual tour T-shirts: lunch boxes, Russian dolls, mugs, hot sauce, board games, lava lamps – you name it, Kiss’s logo has likely appeared on it. Forbes reports the band has more than 2,500 merchandising licenses. Simmons’s reality television show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, ran for nine seasons.
The rocker said he was drawn to Invictus because he and CEO Dan Kriznic share similar perspectives on life.
"Values and family are very important to me, and when I first connected with Dan at Invictus, I understood immediately that we enjoyed a shared passion for these key life foundations," Simmons said in a statement. "Instead of launching straight into business, we talked about the things that matter the most."
Bringing Simmons on board is expensive: Invictus will pay Simmons $2.5 million (USD) cash and 2,631,141 shares at a value of $1.97 on the closing date. Another nearly 4 million shares will be issued to Simmons in exchange for management services and international licensing at a later date.