When William Shatner took a free job as Priceline’s corporate face, the acting world turned its head and looked the other way. The former Star Trek actor was as washed up as anyone could be, and his endorsement of what was – at the time – an inexpensive travel startup seemed like the ultimate hint that his career was over. But with almost fifty commercials completed, the situation has changed.
Shatner’s contract with Priceline left little in the way of risk for the small company. In exchange for his services as a voice and commercial actor, Shatner would be paid entirely in company stock, with no way to profit from his services other than commercial success. Over the last ten years, his career has shot upwards, along with the value of his Priceline stock, now valued at over $600 million.
Of course, it wasn’t all rosy – Priceline took a hit during the dot-com bubble, leaving investors with worthless shares and forcing customers to work with a financially depleted company. When most of the investment community was calling him a dunce, Shatner’s belief in Priceline may have ended up earning him hundreds-of-millions of dollars.
The company remains a major force in international travel, booking hundreds of flights and package hotels throughout the United States every minute. With a market capitalisation approaching thirteen million dollars, it’s become a giant of the travel industry. We’re staunch fans of the service, which is one of several price comparison websites based within the United States.
Priceline’s success has been good for both its investors and the general travel community, with the website encouraging competition and disclosure throughout the travel industry. For your next USA holiday, why not give it a shot? With thousands of hotel rooms and a traveller-friendly selection of airlines, it’s one of our favourite services for booking cut-rate holidays and weekend getaways.