It looks like Oprah Winfrey has added yet another brand to her name. According to Bloomberg Business, Winfrey will climb aboard Weight Watchers as the company’s board of directors. In addition, she will also have the option to buy 5 percent in equity from the company.
By making this move, Winfrey will buy 10 percent of Weight Watchers International Inc. and really give the company, which has slipped in recent years, the power and celebrity oomph to succeed again. After Weight Watchers announced Oprah Winfrey’s involvement, a noticeable change happened. The company’s shares in the market doubled to $13.92, and with the investment comes new issues stock. For Oprah, it’s a $70 million pay day.
Of course, one of the reasons why Oprah has succeeded as a brand is her accessibility and her effortless rapport with her viewers. That said, Weight Watchers will allow the media mogul and the network owner to sign up for the Weight Watchers program. She’s also expected to share her weight loss journey along the way. Oprah has famously been outspoken about her fluctuating weight, so this partnership seems like a no-brainer for Winfrey.
On the heels of this announcement, Winfrey put out a statement about the decision to join Weight Watchers. “I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution.”
Back in 2014, she appeared on the Dr. Oz Show where she detailed her struggle with weight. “I never was a size 6, not even in the sixth grade.” Despite her struggles with her weight, Oprah is now happy with her body. “I’ve had these elbows for 60 years. My heart has been beating for 60 years. The feet I stand on have carried me for 60 years.’ And when you think about it that way, you can be nothing but grateful.”
The deal with Weight Watchers isn’t the only business move for Oprah. Back in 2014 it was announced that Winfrey was partnering up with Starbucks and Teavana to create Teavana Oprah Chai, which has been sold in stores since April of last year. By purchasing the drink, a donation is made to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, which benefits educational opportunities for the youth.
To develop the tea, Winfrey collaborated with theologist Naoko Tsunoda for a distinctive blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. At the time Winfrey said she decided to make tea because it was a daily ritual that’s a part of her morning. With this partnership Oprah sought out to elevate the tea experience for the average drinker.
As if she’s not busy enough as a brand, Winfrey will once again return to the screen as an actress, something that she returned to with Lee Daniels The Butler and Selma. Winfrey is set to star in the show called Greenleaf, which will air on Winfrey’s network OWN. Greenleaf is a drama set in Memphis about a megachurch and its inhabitants.
Winfrey will play Lady Mae’s sister, and a character who has a close connection with Grace Greenleaf, the bishop’s estranged daughter on the show. The themes that will follow the show are “faith, virtue, and righteousness,” which is the heart of the megachurch and the people that run it.
It’s said that Winfrey was pulled towards the material early on, and had high hopes for the show and how people will react to it. She calls the show, “a fun ride” that will “have viewers on the edge of their pews week after week.”
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images]