Justin Bieber wanted to be BlackBerry ambassador for “$200,000 and 20 devices”

BlackBerryIn an interesting Bloomberg story that chronicles the rise and fall of BlackBerry (formerly known as Research In Motion) through recollections of past and current BlackBerry employees, vendors, and associates, it is revealed that before Alicia Keys became the company’s Global Creative Director earlier this year, Justin Bieber asked Research In Motion about becoming a BlackBerry ambassador.

According to Vincent Washington who was a senior business development manager from 2001 to 2011, Bieber approached BlackBerry with a business proposal back sometime around 2007. In essence, his pitch was, “Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I’m your brand ambassador.” Washington took the proposal back to the marketing department. Here’s how it went down according to Washington:

And we pitched that to marketing: Here’s a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that. They basically threw us out of the room. They said, “This kid is a fad. He’s not going to last.” I said at the meeting: “This kid might outlive RIM.” Everyone laughed.

We all know how the story goes from there. Bieber is now a multi-million album seller and has the second most followed handle on Twitter. He was named the third-most powerful celebrity in the world in 2012 by Forbes. Meanwhile BlackBerry is a mere shadow of itself, hanging on to a low single digit market share in the smartphone arena while many predict that the company will be broken up and sold off in bits in the not-too-far future.

Could things have gone differently for Research In Motion had it taken Bieber on as its brand ambassador? Just imagine all those Beliebers as proud BlackBerry users.

Source : Bloomberg