A few years ago Anheuser-Busch InBev sales executive Brendan Whitworth was shopping in GNC when he came across a supplement brand called Ghost. He was so impressed by it that he emailed people behind the startup.
“He thought that there was an opportunity to do something in the ready-to-drink space,” recalled Ghost Co-Founder Ryan Hughes. “Fast forward 48 hours, and we were sitting in front of him and the rest of the executive team in New York.”
Whitworth’s cold email—and the meetings it sparked—led to the 2020 launch of Ghost energy drink via a joint venture with AB InBev. It is the latest product expression of what Ghost calls the “industry’s first lifestyle sports nutrition brand,” which includes a portfolio of dietary supplements and sports nutrition products.
Hughes, who serves as Ghost’s chief marketing officer, details the brand’s origin story and rise on the latest edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast.