Website Hooks You Up With Celebs... for Mega Bucks

Want to meet Shakira? That'll be $15K
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2013 8:56 AM CST
Shakira performs at the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday Nov. 10, 2011 in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

(Newser) – So, this exists: A website that can hook you up with celebrities ... assuming you've got the cash. IfOnly, run by a San Francisco entrepreneur, offers, for example, a $15,000 meet and greet with Shakira and a $50,000 lunch with Mike Tyson. Vauhini Vara profiles the enterprise for the New Yorker, and seems sort of repelled by the whole thing—at one point she tells founder Trevor Traina she finds it "off-putting that the site seems to facilitate the rubbing of the shoulders of the rich against those of the famous." But Traina, stepson of Danielle Steel, insists that's not the point, and indeed there are cheaper experiences available: Meet Chris Cornell of Soundgarden for $850, meet Third Eye Blind for $2,000 (or have the band members sign a guitar pick for the much more affordable $30).

The site has also offered experiences with Madonna, Joe Montana ("personalized video message" for $1,450), Alice Waters, and celebrity chef Michael Chiarello (he'll host a dinner party for you and 11 of your guests for $12,000). In the future, Traina pictures offering Web-only experiences, like an email or Facebook post from [insert celebrity here]. (One Indian actor already offers a "personalized Twitter celebration message" for $500.) Explains Traina, whose company keeps 20% of the proceeds from each sale, "We’ve spent a lot of our time brainstorming ways for people to get the feeling of connection at lower price points." Feeling icky? This might help: Some of the proceeds also go to charity. Click for Vara's full piece. (Read more celebrity stories.)

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