Sleek boats go hand in hand with high fashion.
That’s why Surge Brands is partnering with Cigarette Racing, builder of high-performance powerboats, to develop a number of luxury products with the Cigarette Racing name.
After two decades under the ownership of Skip Braver, Cigarette Racing was acquired last year by John H. Ruiz, a billionaire attorney in Miami, and Ophir Sternberg, owner of private investment firm Lionheart Capital. Their goal has been to grow the brand in many areas. They recently named Surge Brands as the company’s global licensing agent.
“We are launching our iconic brand into a new era,” said Johnny Ruiz, the chief operating officer of Cigarette Racing and the son of John Ruiz. “Through the development of a diversified line of products, we aim to reach a new wave of Cigarette enthusiasts.”
Ari Freedman, vice president of New York-based Surge Brands and a powerboat enthusiast, said several products being developed in the luxury field will be available for sale in 2023. “Right now, we are aiming to do luxury watches, luggage and high-end fashion,” Freedman said.
Watches will be in the same luxury category as Rolexes and high-end fashion will be on par with labels like LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Gucci. “Cigarette is looking to make a splash in the luxury market with this brand,” Freedman noted.
Other products to be developed include swimwear, fragrances, jewelry, eyewear, spirits and accessories. “We are looking to build a full licensing program for them,” said Freedman, whose father, Mark Freedman, in 1986 started Surge Licensing Inc., famous for discovering and licensing the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Cigarette Racing was launched in 1969 by Don Aronow, a boat racer and businessman in South Florida. The Cigarette powerboat became famous when it was featured from 1984 to 1990 on the TV series “Miami Vice” with Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas.