Beyonce says she gets 15 free designer purses per month .Victoria Beckham received so many baby gifts before daughter Harper was born that she decided to donate trucks filled with the freebies to charity. Despite being rich and famous, it seems celebs clean up when it comes to free gifts.
For those who think these celebs have it all, you’d be wrong. Clearly these companies and event managers believe the stars could have more! From long-term leases on cars down to new phones, celebrities have all the freebies they could want or need (and more) right at their fingertips. On top of exciting and new products, these A-listers get luxury vacations; peaceful spa retreats; gourmet, five-star meals and even condoms (see no. 6 on our list).
But nothing’s ever really free – it’s all for publicity. Some celebs pocket thousands (even millions) in swag from brands in hopes the star will be snapped holding their product. With that in mind, here’s a look at what free goodies were received by each type of celebrity, from Olympic athletes to movie stars.
No. 10 – Celebrity’s Kids – Designer Clothes
Having a baby in Hollywood has become a very big deal over the past decade. Fans and the media just love to find out which new celeb may have a bun in the oven. And that’s why, from paparazzi snaps to tabloid covers, designers send this next generation of celebs tons of clothes in hopes that they’ll be seen wearing it.
Katie Holmes recently took her 7-year-old daughter Suri Cruise off – that’s right, off – any designer freebie lists. Suri’s wardrobe, which was rumored to be worth $3.2 million, was full of expensive gifts that often saw her resembling a mini-me version of mom Katie. Since splitting with Tom Cruise, Katie wants Suri to be less spoiled and that includes sending back free gifts like pricey dresses and makeup.
No. 9 – Reality TV Stars, Freebies to Stay Away from Brands
Reality TV stars can be some of the most loved and hated individuals, taking over not only television but online and print tabloids. With so many eyes on them, it’s easy to see why some brands would want to be associated, or disassociated, with them. For example, Abercrombie and Fitch were willing to dole out a “substantial payment” to The Situation from the Jersey Shore to stop wearing their clothes. We guess his six-pack and fit body just weren’t enough for the clothier, who is notoriously selective when it comes to who wears the brand. Castmate Snooki also got freebies like Gucci, but from Coach. It was rumored that the petite star was sent a Gucci bag by Coach after carrying a Coach bag around with her everywhere. If it’s true, then ouch!
No. 8 – Musicians, Food on Tour
When it comes to backstage swag and their tour riders, these superstars demand only the best free stuff. And most make very specific requests for the food appearing in their dressing room before their sold out shows.
Nick Minaj requests buckets of spicy fried chicken (no thighs, lots of wings) and a cheese platter, while Mariah Carey wants a $200 bottle of cabernet sauvignon. Jay Z asks for two $300 bottles of champagne and two $200 bottles of 2004 Sassicaia wine. His lovely Queen Bey demands a baked chicken, which would cost about $30 to purchase and prepare (seasoned just to her liking with garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper).
No. 7 – Royals, Designer Clothes
Royals get lavished in tons of free gifts – from cars to meals, but none more so than from designers who hope a “Party Princess” like Madeleine of Sweden will be photographed in their brand. The most sought after royal is none other than Kate Middleton, who’s caused “The Middleton Effect“. Basically anything she wears becomes sold out within hours. A flood of gifts left Kate having to tell designers no to freebies.
That’s right – Princess Kate won’t accept free goods or even discounts on her clothes. It’s rumored that she spent approximately $55,000 in 2012 on clothes for public appearances and events which her father-in-law Prince Charles paid. Even Kim Kardashian sent the Duchess of Cambridge a bandage dress and leopard-print bazer from the Kardashian Kollection (most likely about $200 based on prices from their current collection). However, the Princess sent that back too.
No. 6 – Olympic Athletes, Condoms
The Olympics are full of freebies. Case in point – Team USA athletes received $600 personalized gold rings and five duffel bags stuffed with gifts from Ralph Lauren, Nike and Oakley (just to name a few) at the London Summer Olympics. What’s more, there’s tons of fun on-site giveaways like a beer fridge that only opens by scanning a Canadian passport.
At this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, the world’s brightest stars got tons of swag including none other than free condoms. That’s right – over 100,000 condoms were given out at the Olympic Village to the athletes over the course of the event. That’s easily $30,000 in condoms but still slightly less than the 150,000 condoms given out in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Hope Solo, who was part of the women’s Team USA soccer team in 2012, shockingly told ESPN, “there’s a lot of sex going on” at the Olympics. Gold medal winner Ryan Lochte added that he guessed about “70 percent to 75 percent” of Olympians engage in sexual acts while there. Sounds like the condoms, though a relatively inexpensive freebie, would’ve been a hit!
No. 5 – Authors, Book Tour Costs (with Extras)
Top film execs sent JK Rowling a multi-million dollar diamond bracelet after her famous Harry Potter series was turned into a best selling film franchise. The average author shouldn’t expect a bracelet encrusted with 40 sparkling diamonds from their publisher (or film studio should their book be turned into a movie).
An average top selling author will get several thousand, however, for a small multi-city book tour to cover transportation, food and accommodations. While it’s safe to say, the authors are working on these book tours, there’s a chance for them to get more stuff for free. For example, some authors will get sent to exclusive events (where tons of freebies would be on hand) to promote their books, such as Tish Cohen who signed books at a Toronto Film Festival event. She no doubt got to collect part of the $800 in freebies given away at the affair.
No. 4 – Runway Models, Designer Purses and Clothes
Models who walk the catwalk don’t pocket the kind of cash you might think. The average model (we’re not talking Gisele Bundchen here) might get paid $800-$1,000 for the day from a big designer with consumer appeal.
However, more commonly, these models work for “trade”. This means they not only put in the hours for the recognition (the audience is often filled with editors and brands waiting to scoop up the next fresh face) but also for clothes and bags. In fact, trades can sometimes be worth more than cash, a value upwards of $2,500. While models definitely put in the work, just like with authors on book tours, they often can score extras just by being there. Some will even get clothes on top of the cash!
No. 3 – Football Players, Bowl Game Gifts
From the Super Bowl to Bowl Season, football’s best athletes are rewarded with giveaways for making it to the top. After the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and the rest of the Broncos and Seahawks all got $25,000 diamond encrusted Beats by Dre headphones.
Although NCAA Football players don’t get salaries or compensation, they do get $400 in gifts from their school and conference and $550 in free stuff from bowl game sponsors. What type of stuff did they get? The Armed Forces Bowl players got a PlayStation 4; the Las Vegas Bowl gave away Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; the Capital One Bowl handed out $450 gift cards to Best Buy; and the Alamo Bowl shelled out iPad Minis. What’s more, these players also got Fossil watches, Apple gift cards, luxury suitcases, Nike shoes and Oakley sunglasses too.
No. 2 – Celebs Attending Award Shows, Gift Suites
Gift suites or gift lounges are exactly what they sound like. In preparation for an event like the Grammys or throughout one like at the Sundance Film Festival, celebs in attendance are treated to rooms full of free swag. From makeup (that can be applied on the spot by makeup artists) to hair products, it’s any person’s dream!
At the Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian celebs like musician Fefe Dobson and Corner Gas actors Gabrielle Miller and Tara Spencer-Narin were seen at a $4 million penthouse gift lounge in downtown Toronto, Canada. There was over $2,500 in gift bags being giving away, including swag for exclusive restaurants, books and clothes. But this event paled in comparison with TIFF’s AMC Storys Gift Suite valued at about $10,000 per celeb!
Before the Oscars several years ago, Revlon was part of The Ultimate Luxury Suite in Beverly Hills were they were giving out makeup to stars like Mariah Carey. “It’s a terrific way to connect with celebrities,” explained Revlon’s VP of Public Relations.
No. 1 – Actors that Lose, Red Carpet Swag Bags
Time magazine reported that “a regular red carpet walker will receive about $100,000 in free goods.” Calvin Klein, Burberry and Apple are among the top brands in swag bags. (Some brands such as Louis Vuitton refuse to hand out free gifts.) The swag bags of varying amounts are given away at most events from the SAG Awards to the Golden Globes. But sometimes it pays to lose out at award shows.
Our favorite Oscar nominees who didn’t win get not only free products, but also get a grab bag full of trips, gift certificates and food sent their house the next day. For example, the gift bag that stars like Bradley Cooper went home with from the Oscars in 2013 was worth $48,000. Inside there was an $1,800 membership to London’s Heathrow airport luxury lounge; $600 worth of acupuncture services; hundreds of dollars in booze and even circus classes! The gift bag also included the $5,000 “vampire facelifts” that have been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian. This year there’s rumored to be the “O-Shot” in the swag bag, the latest it treatment that’s supposed to help boost a woman’s sexual responses.
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