How to get a grand out of Branson


Richard Branson has put his not inconsiderable money where his equally sizeable mouth is. His claim that his Virgin Cola will outsell Pepsi outside the US within a decade led a journalist from European Business News to describe it as “the most audacious remark I’ve ever heard from a business person”.

Branson replied with a 1,000 bet that he would succeed, and added that if Virgin achieved the target, every Virgin employee would also receive 1,000. He showed how serious he takes the challenge by sending the EBN journalist Bill Britt – also editor of Euromarketing – a cheque for 1,000, but post-dated until 2005, underlining the less public side of Branson’s business style – a desire to hedge his bets.