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Usain Bolt Named New 'CEO' of Mumm Champagne

Plus, magician David Minkin puts wine on stage, and the Marnier Lapostolle Foundation gives $5.8 million for rare Angelman syndrome research
Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt knows how to celebrate.
Photo by: Courtesy of Maison Mumm
Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt knows how to celebrate.

Posted: December 1, 2016

The world's fastest man is suiting up for one of the world's largest Champagne houses. Using an Olympic gold medal to saber a bottle of G.H. Mumm's Grand Cordon, legendary track athlete and nine-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt announced his new role as "CEO"—Chief Entertainment Officer—at Maison Mumm in a video released this week.

“I'm honored to take on the role of 'CEO' for Maison Mumm and to show the world what it means to celebrate and entertain in daring ways," Bolt said in a statement. “My No. 1 mission will be to enhance Mumm’s legacy in celebrating victories in stunning ways, and I’m very excited to invite all my fans around the world to raise their glasses with me.” The newly created position was customized for Bolt, whose personal motto, "Anything is possible; I don’t think limits" falls in line with Maison Mumm's new #DareWinCelebrate social-media campaign. One of the most gifted athletes of all time, Bolt won gold medals in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4x100 meter relay in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

This is the latest in a series of splashy moves by the 189-year-old Champagne house. In 2014 the brand partnered with DJ David Guetta and actor James Purefoy to create the Formula One racing–themed "Dangerous" music video, and earlier this year, Mumm unveiled a new bottle design for Grand Cordon created by British designer Ross Lovegrove.

"By naming Usain as our Chief Entertainment Officer, we will work closely together to bring unique excitement through daring innovation to celebrations and moments of victory, large and small, around the globe,” said Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët chairman and "actual" CEO César Giron.

Magician David Minkin Puts Wine on Stage

Courtesy of David Minkin
David Minkin bewilders his audience with eye-popping tricks and beguiling wines.

“The right kind of magic pairs very well with wine,” magician David Minkin tells Unfiltered—and we can agree that David Copperfield disappearing anything to do with wine would be the wrong kind of magic. Minkin is one of the stars of a new documentary film, Magicians: Life in the Impossible, which covers the success of his "Magic & Wine" show at Los Angeles' Majestic Garden Hotel. Now in its ninth year, it's currently the longest running one-man magic show in the city, and has earned the admiration of noted "wino" Johnny Depp, as well as celebrity magic fans Anne Hathaway, Robert Rodriguez, P!nk, Sharon Osbourne and Lionel Richie. Minkin has also taken his show on the road, performing at Rosenthal Estate in Malibu, LXV in Paso Robles and Columbia winery in Washington state, among others.

Minkin's show begins with a tasting of four wines—all the better to help audience members suspend their disbelief—including current crowd favorite Cline Cellars Cashmere Black Magic, a Rhône-style red blend sourced primarily from Contra Costa County. “I wasn’t really into wine before I created the show," Minkin says. "The show kind of led me into it.” Magic became the vehicle for his wine education, leading Minkin to form relationships with local wineries; he's now very involved with selecting the wine pairings for the show. And his bag of tricks extends far beyond the old bending wineglass gag. Minkin says his magic is a visceral experience, intertwining wine with themes of mortality, time and the universal human experience. “When you start to bring magic into the deeper human context, it becomes art that is beyond a trick,” Minkin says. “I think that wine and magic are both vehicles for connecting people and also giving an experience of joy. Wine is celebratory and the kind of magic I’m doing is the same. It’s this experience of wonder that people rarely get these days.”

Marnier Lapostolle Foundation Gives $5.8 Million for Rare Disease Research

The Marnier Lapostolle Foundation, founded by the family behind Grand Marnier liqueur, has awarded a $5.8 million grant to aid the research of Angelman syndrome, a rare and debilitating condition affecting motor skills. The sum went to the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST), a nonprofit organization focused on funding drug development. "To be part of the scientific effort to bring effective therapeutics to the lives of those who struggle with Angelman syndrome will be an incredible legacy of our foundation," Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle de Bournet, vice chair of Grand Marnier Group, said in a press release.

The Cognac dynasty’s contribution is more than a gesture of corporate social responsibility; it was inspired by a family member who has a child afflicted by the condition, which affects one in 15,000 people. With hopes of finding a cure within this lifetime, the purpose of the Marnier Lapostolle Foundation’s grant is to fast-track the path of possible cures to clinical trials and, ultimately, FDA approval. "We are confident that a treatment and cure is possible in just a few short years," said Paula Evans, chairperson of FAST, in a statement. "Money and time are the only things that stand in our way. The Marnier Lapostolle Foundation has given us a great gift to accelerate our work and hope."

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