Many of us heard that single nightclub appearance can make Zac Efron or Jude Law $10,000 a night. Historically successful artists, show biz figures and movie stars have been giving out speeches in their spare time and it was common to pay high fees for such skilful entertainment and motivational acts. This is still highly practiced today, but over the past 10 years a new trend has emerged – to pay celebrities for simply showing up.
The highest paid celebrity appearance recorded in a nightclub industry was $350,000 paid to Lindsay Lohan by Pure Nightclub, Las Vegas. Although diva had to later repay the fee because party was cancelled due to scheduled rehab session, the fee was record breaking so far. Same club paid Paris Hilton $200,000 to celebrate her 24th birthday a few years ago. Britney Spears has also earned $350,000 for hosting a New Year’s Eve at the Pure, but this event was more than just appearance. Britney had to do more work than hang out, she gave speeches, made introductions and was expected to perform.
Another club famous for such promotion techniques is Tao Nightclub, Las Vegas. Records show $50,000 cash to Kim Kardashian and $110,000 to Pamela Anderson. Shore Club in Miami cashed $150,000 to Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz.
Why would a night venue pay such a high price for celebrity clubbing? Some clubs do state that they never pay celebs. Of course we do see photos of stars coming out of clubs posted on People, Yahoo and other websites and it is often the case that they just came to party along with everyone else. There is also a number of clubs owned by famous persona such as Viper Room, Los Angeles (owned by Jonny Depp), Eve, Las Vegas and Kiss, Los Angeles (both owned by Eva Longorina) where it is a given that occasionally you may spot a rightful owner who is there for a completely different reason.
There are instances, however, when clubs recruit a celebrity as part of a promotional effort to attract customers to a special event such as New Year or Prom Night. When marketing is done right, celebrities can generally account for substantial increases in business. In case of featured appearances, or so called “celeb nights”, a higher cover may be charged or much more people are expected to show up. If you do a simple math, with a cover fee of $40, all it’s needed is additional 250 people to break even on average celebrity cost. Visitors also tend to spend more on bottle service as mood is better and calibre of event is higher. Such marketing trick also becomes an instant PR as generated buzz lasts for weeks after party is over giving more credibility and fame to a club.
“Everyone pays celebrities to come to their clubs,” says Andrew Sasson, co-owner of Jet Las Vegas. “It’s all part of the marketing in this business. Anyone who tells you they don’t is lying. The question is: Do you pay with cash, or provide a jet, a meal, drinks and hotel rooms?”