The Strange Question Of Ownership Behind Prime Hydration

If you've heard of sport and energy drink brand Prime Hydration, there's probably one key fact you know about it: It's owned by YouTuber-slash-boxer Logan Paul, and YouTuber-rapper-boxer KSI. After all, it's right there in the (full) name of the beverage brand: "Prime by Logan Paul x KSI." The duo launched the brand in 2022, with major hype causing the drinks to fly off shelves (although there were accusations that Prime deliberately kept supplies of its beverages low in order to pump up that hype).

Go to the official site, and the first thing you're greeted with is a large photo of the two, mouths agape, and each wielding a can of Prime's high-caffeine, high-electrolyte, and zero-sugar energy drink. On the site, a brief history of the company notes that "we" (that is, Paul and KSI) "dropped our first product ... in 2022," with the influencers going on to note that they were "humbled by the process of creating a real brand." But there's just one catch: Prime may have their names and faces all over it, but Paul and KSI aren't the full owners of the company. Instead, they share ownership with a company known as Congo Brands.

So, who actually owns Prime Hydration?

The entity that makes Prime is actually a little-known company called Congo Brands, based in Louisville, Kentucky — far from Paul's homes in Puerto Rico and California, and even further from KSI's base in London. As of summer 2023, Congo Brands has two other brands in its portfolio: another sports drink label called 3D Energy Drinks, and a nutritional supplement brand, Alani Nu — both with influencer faces.

Paul and KSI are undoubtedly involved in Prime, but it's likely they don't even own enough of the company to have a controlling share. They might be billed as founders of it, but Prime is owned by Congo Brands — and it's unclear exactly how much of a hand the YouTubers had in creating the drink. In fact, if one goes to the Kentucky Secretary of State's website and searches for the brand, the initial officer is listed as one Max Clemons. The second holder listed? Not KSI nor Logan Paul. It's someone named Trey Steiger.

How Congo Brands works

Steiger and Clemons are the co-owners of Congo Brands, which in turn owns Prime Hydration LLC, the official corporate name for the Paul- and KSI-affiliated energy drink company. Congo Brands' website also hints at the fact that Prime Hydration was originally created by Steiger and Clemons, rather than Paul and KSI. Its FAQ section notes that Congo exists "to create synergies between the independent brands [Steiger and Clemons have] co-founded over the years" — and Prime is one of those brands.

Congo Brands' website is otherwise fairly light on details although it does note that the various companies under the Congo Brands umbrella "may have ownership beyond Trey and Max." In the case of Prime, it seems like the truth about the ownership lies somewhere in the middle: Paul and KSI have an ownership stake, but they appear to act more like brand representatives or partners than the real engine behind the drinks, at least when it comes to manufacturing and creating the recipes. Yet they're undoubtedly a huge marketing engine. Prime's popularity appears to be pretty much entirely due to the YouTubers' affiliation with it, so while they may not own the majority of Prime, they're still playing a major role.