Outside of the ring (a.k.a. the "Octagon"), McGregor is dipping his gloves into the business world.
Last year, he launched his own line of apparel, called August McGregor, as well as his own brand of Irish whiskey, Proper No. Twelve. The name Proper No. Twelve "pays homage to where I grew up," in Crumlin, a low-income suburb of Dublin that is often referred to as "Dublin 12," after its postal code. "Crumlin is a place very dear to my heart," McGregor tells says. "It's where I learned how to fight, where I learned to do everything."
Proper No. Twelve hit liquor store shelves in Ireland and the U.S. in September 2018, and the whiskey's first production run reportedly sold out in less than two weeks. McGregor and his business partners at the distillery Eire Born Spirits, of which McGregor is the founder and chairman, had to ramp up production in order to get more of the whiskey on shelves by December, according to Brian Axelrod, the U.S. director for Proper No. Twelve.
Axelrod tells CNBC Make It that he expects Proper No. Twelve to sell more than 200,000 cases of the whiskey (that's nearly 2.5 million 750 milliliter bottles, at a dozen bottles per case) in its first year in the U.S. By comparison, the world's most popular Irish whiskey, Jameson, sells about 7 million cases globally per year. Axelrod and McGregor plan to donate $5 for every case of Proper No. Twelve sold, up to $1 million, to organizations and charities dedicated to first responders.
Proper No. Twelve is also already the most-followed spirits brand on Instagram, Axelrod notes, with more than 570,000 followers. (Jameson has over 146,000 Instagram followers, while McGregor himself has over 30 million.)
"At launch, I told everyone I was going to give this my all and take the whiskey market by storm, and we did just that with more to come," says McGregor.
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