The entrepreneur and CEO of ZOZOTOWN has conquered yet another frontier with one of his Tweets achieving unprecedented levels of virality.
Maezawa obliterated the previous record for most retweets, with his tweet from 6 January having now been shared more than 5.4 million times.
Previously, Ellen DeGeneres’ group selfie at the 2014 Academy Awards (3.4 million retweets) held the record until it was eclipsed by a 2017 tweet reading: “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS”, which was retweeted more than 3.5 million times.
A translated version of Maezawa’s tweet reads: “With a daily gratitude, I will give you 100 million yen [100 million yen grand prix for 100 people] from individuals in cash. To apply, just follow me and just RT this tweet.” The tweet was pitched as something of a ‘Thank you’ to Zozotown customers after the retailer’s New Year’s sales topped ¥10 billion yen this year.
In a later tweet, Maezawa says he has contacted the winners by direct message. He is also promising another round of cash giveaways.
— Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) 前澤 友作 (@yousuck2020) January 5, 2019
Will Maezawa’s Y100 million (US$920,000) giveaway be worth it?
At least one commentator has rubbished the giveaway as an expensive and ultimately pointless stunt which will not engender any brand loyalty among the millions who retweeted the message in the hope of winning money.
Maezawa has been wildly successful, however, largely due to his bucking of convention and active social media presence.
The 43-year-old entrepreneur came to prominence when one of his fashion retail ventures, Zozotown, exploded. The popular store was an early adopter of online shopping and was an innovator in terms of sending consumers measuring equipment to ensure their clothes fitted perfectly.
Yusaku Maezawa: space tourist, retail savant, lover of expensive cars
Maezawa also made headlines when it was revealed he would be the first space tourist on Elon Musk’s SpaceX recreational flight to the moon in 2023. He booked the entire inaugural flight and said he would invite a crew of creatives, including a visual artist, a novelist, a musician and a fashion designer to create works about their historic voyage. Maezawa intends to curate their work into an exhibition titled #dearMoon on his return.
Despite his incredible wealth (which currently stands at US$2.1 billion) and status as a retail pioneer, Maezawa has remained something of an enigmatic figure. He rarely gives interviews to the media but often replies to his Twitter followers and members of the public.
He has put his earnings to extravagant use, purchasing a small army of custom and rare supercars. He owns a Bugatti Chiton, an Aston Martin One-77 and previously had a custom-designed Pagani Zonda.
He is also an art collector of some note, having acquired artworks by Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Christopher Wool and Jeff Koons, among others.