You probably know Mark Wahlberg best as an Academy Award nominated movie star. But over the past few years he’s been building up his bonafides as a business mogul. After investments in fitness and fashion, he’s now in the business of booze. This week he officially announced a sizable investment in Flecha Azul—an ultra-premium line of tequila co-founded by entrepreneur Aron Marquez and professional golfer, Abraham Ancer.
The connection between a Boston-born Hollywood A-lister and the native spirit of Mexico isn’t immediately obvious. But after a brief chat with Forbes, the genesis of his involvement becomes as clear as the Cristalino he’s now tasked with touting.
“I met [Aron and Abraham] near the end of 2019 and we became friendly right away,” recalls Wahlberg. “We have so many things in common: we’re family-oriented people; self-made guys, and I was really loving what they were doing [with the brand].”
It didn’t take long for the co-owners to convince their new famous friend to travel down with them to visit the distillery, on the outskirts of the town of Tequila. It was there that Wahlberg saw firsthand the beauty of what was being crafted in the Lowlands (El Valle) of Jalisco, Mexico. And he knew he wanted in on the magic.
“I was seeing how many people were having great success in the industry that didn’t really have this same pedigree when it came to creating tequila,” he says. “I realized pretty quickly that they were creating a superior product—an authentic product.”
When deciding to hop onboard with Marquez and Ancer, Wahlberg was content taking the backseat. “I’m not going to get into the spirits space saying that I created a tequila because people know that doesn’t ring true and consumers are smarter than that,” he says. “[So instead] I told them, ‘I’d love to get involved and invest in and support you guys and utilize all my resources and put the firepower into building the brand. And they were thrilled to have me.”
When pressed for more details on that support, Wahlberg was refreshingly candid: “Yeah, I just cut a big check,” he said with a smile. “Let me do my thing and we can promote this together. That’s literally the extent of it.”
You can already observe some of that promotion in full effect over on Wahlberg’s Instagram account, where he just posted an advert for his preferred Cristalino expression to his 18 million followers. “Don’t forget to pick up some @FlechaAzulTequila before heading into the holiday weekend,” reads the caption.
For Ancer, having a helping hand from Mark Wahlberg—of all people—is like a dream come true. “I guess that was just meant to be,” says the 30-year-old PGA pro. “Mark was probably my favorite actor growing up. I loved his work, Entourage [produced by Wahlberg] was one of my favorite shows. I met him at Pro-Ams because he loves playing golf and sometimes they invite him to the PGA Tour events.”
Through a network of mutual business partners Ancer and Marquez were able to get some Flecha Azul into Wahlberg’s hands. Two years later, they’re co-owners in the brand.
“We really connect on a personal level,” observes Wahlberg. “Just because they have a great product and it can be financially successful—that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a partnership I want to have. The connection has to be there. And everything that they’ve done is so similar to what I’m trying to build on my own, one step at a time. So it’s been a win-win and I’m really excited to show people that they have the best product out there.”