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  Debate

Debate

Does Michael Jordan's Cincoro Tequila truly outshine LeBron James' Lobos 1707, or is it all hype?

The first time we picked up a blend of Cincoro or Lobos 1707, it was probably because of the Michael Jordan and LeBron James’ names attached to them. And hence, we recognize the brands for the famous NBA legend behind them. Factors like taste and price tend to take precedence in reaching for the same bottle again. Ever since George Clooney launched Casamigos, the tequila business has been saturated with celebrities. But very few have what it takes to be memorable.

Not all have earned the recognition of a tequila boss like Clooney. So between Jordan and James, who is the ‘Reposado’ GOAT?

Lowkey persona behind high spirits

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In 2019, a bunch of NBA team owners with a taste for smooth tequila came together and turned it into a business. Los Angeles Lakers‘ Jeanie Buss, Bucks’ Wes Edens, and Celtics’ Emilia Fazzalari and Wyc Grousbeck were four of the five founders of Cincoro. But it’s largely known as ‘Michael Jordan’s brand.’ A year later, Lobos 1707 was open for business with its earliest investor, LeBron James. While some celebrities were accused of discarding the rich culture and tradition behind tequila to make inferior blends, not these NBA movers and shakers.

The Cincoro founders have been working on its creation since 2016 by prioritizing their own fine tastes to produce a range of blends that meet their high standards. Jordan tasted 1,000 blends before picking their own and working it till Jordan’s demand for the balance between smoothness and finish was met. The agaves are sourced from private farms in Jalisco, Mexico. The Reposado is aged for eight to ten months in ex-Tennessee whiskey barrels. They worked with expert artisanal glassmakers to come up with a packaging design that satisfied them with details like a base of 23 degrees, a nod to the owner of the #23 Bulls legacy.

Breakthru Beverage’s rep only needed one sip to confirm it had no competition to agree to be a distributor. From day one, it was all about the product and not the names behind it – typical camera-shy MJ. Note: he’s not the ambassador. In 2024, he brought on his famous friends like Serena Williams and Derek Jeter into the ownership group.

USA Today via Reuters

Amid the pandemic, the celebrity-backed tequila business became more competitive though. Kendall Jenner’s 818 faced more criticism than reviews. On the other hand, Bron was directly competing with Jordan the way they never did on the court. James too stayed in the background of Lobos to let the brand story and leadership shine though he’s the official ambassador. He’d induce Anthony Davis, Rich Paul, and Draymond Green to invest too. Like Cincoro, the emphasis is on tradition. Sourced from 100% blue Weber agave, it is furnished in Pedro Ximenez wine barrels and produced with the solera method.

Then in 2022, Lobos beat Cincoro in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This competition proved the unprecedented growth in the tequila business with 5,000 participating brands. Lobos beat 100 other brands to win the Best Reposado Tequila Award.

Like the judges of that contest, a good few people prefer Lobos over Cincoro for its complex flavor profile. Only if you split hairs on the smoothness though. But there’s also another factor that James edges Jordan out on.

Agave, are you glad you bought this on?

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Both aren’t just celebrity tequilas. They’re premium luxe celebrity-backed tequilas. However, one of them doesn’t break the bank if you want another round. For a passive enthusiast, both are matched in texture, finish, and flavor. But you can get that from Lobos at half the price of Cincoro.

Experts state that the premium tequila price starts at $45. Lobos ranges from $45 to $150. Its Reposado is priced at $54 while the Joven is $40. Cincoro ranks among the most expensive brands, starting at around $70. Reposado retails for $99 while Blanco is at $80. The Anejo at $130 and and Jordan’s favorite, Cincoro Extra Anejo is $1,600 a pop.

In an increasingly crowded industry, a sound pricing strategy and marketing are giving the ‘King’ an edge over the ‘Black Cat’. James reportedly nets at least $4 million from his undisclosed investment. But together, they could steal Clooney’s tequila tycoon status.

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Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, has to say about the infamous Shaq-Kobe feud, Caitlin Clark’s Olympic snub, and more, watch this video.