NELK is a Canadian YouTube channel and entertainment group formed up of several popular YouTubers, including Steve Deleonardis, who runs the channel Stevewilldoit.
The group makes a variety of videos, focused mainly on a life of luxury, throwing elaborate parties and inviting fans on various challenges and adventures.
NELK has an estimated net worth of around $1.8 million, though it’s hard to say just how accurate this figure is. This is because the group generates income through many ventures, the most lucrative of which is their merchandise sales, accounting for around $70 million per annum.
These days, it’s not only possible to make a living through video sharing platforms like YouTube, but you can even make a fortune.
That’s not to say it’s easy, though.
It takes years of consistency and quality content to get to the point that a group like NELK has reached.
In this guide, we’re going to examine the trajectory of NELK and how they rose to success on YouTube, as well as discussing all of their income streams so you can get an idea of how they made their fortunes.
NELK Net Worth
Reports suggest that NELK’s net worth is somewhere in the region of $1.5-1.8 million, though of course it’s impossible to know for sure.
You’d have to assume that this figure is only going to grow in the coming years, too, since their online presence grows by the day.
Plus, with the COVID-19 pandemic the group has arguably been able to reach thousands more people than they usually would since a lot of people are spending more time at home browsing the internet.
It seems that the group makes most of its money through merchandise sales, generating around $70 million from this alone. Though its significant followings on various social media platforms open the doors to sponsorship deals, ad revenue, and more.
So how did NELK become such a success in the online space?
Well, the group has managed to capitalize on the crazy American college culture that is depicted in movies such as ‘American Pie’. Almost every video published on the main channel consists of drinking, smoking, and general debauchery.
This appeals mainly to the younger male demographic, and the group also pulls off a lot of pranks which draws in a crowd that enjoys movies such as ‘Jackass’.
Behind NELK is the brand ‘Full Send’ which is the ethos the boys strive to live up to. The goal is to live life to the fullest and party as much as humanly possible, this is reflected in the group’s merchandise and this message resonates with a global audience.
To date, the YouTube channel has garnered more than 800 million views and the large subscriber count continues to grow.
But how did it all start?
The NELK YouTube channel was created in 2010, by founder Kyle Forgeard.
Originally, the channel was named ‘NelkFIlmz’ and the only members were Kyle, Niko and Marko Martinovic, and Lucas Gasparini.
In 2014, Jesse Sebastiani joined the group after he met with Forgeard at the MTV Canada conference.
By 2015, they had produced what would be their most viral video yet, called ‘Coke Prank on Cops’. In this video, they went up to police officers and informed them that they had coke in the back of their cars, when really it was just the drink not the drug.
Since then, the group has gone from strength to strength onboarding several high profile YouTubers, the most prominent of which is probably Steve Deleonardis who is behind the successful channel ‘Stevewilldoit’ and joined NELK in 2019.
There is now a ‘Full Send House’ in Los Angeles where many members of the group reside, and the channel continues to put out vlog-style content and pranks on a regular basis, most of which draw in two million or more views.
Since the group has built a name for itself over the years and notoriety, it has been able to collaborate with several celebrities and high-profile individuals over the years.
The most notable example is hands-down the time when NELK met former US president Donald Trump on the Air Force One.
The group met with the former president and also joined him on stage at one of Trump’s campaign speeches.
With the group the day it met Trump was also UFC president Dana White, who is known for being an outspoken figure in the world of mixed martial arts.
Other big characters that NELK has associated with include former boxing champion Mike Tyson and ‘Jackass’ star Steve-O.
That’s not to mention the interactions Steve Deleonardis had with Demi Lovato, in which the latter panned him for his excessive alcohol consumption challenges. Deleonardis hit back by claiming that he was ‘the healthiest man alive’ and by getting a tattoo of the celebrity’s face in a video posted to his channel.
It’s not all good publicity for the boys at NELK, though.
As you can imagine, the group’s wild party lifestyle is bound to ruffle some feathers now and again, and the most recent example of this was in 2020.
In September 2020, the group came under heavy criticism on social media when it gathered large crowds of fans at the Illinois State University campus in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
At a time when it was ill-advised to meet up with people from other households, this stunt riled up a lot of people and caused a police investigation into the group.
After this moment, YouTube came out and announced that the NELK channel would be demonetized on YouTube which meant that the group would no longer be able to generate income from views and subscriptions on the video-sharing platform.
Even Chris Koos, the mayor of the town, vowed to pursue legal action against the NELK group due to the recklessness of its actions.
The controversy didn’t end there, though.
Just a week later, the NELK gup was mobbed at its residence in New Jersey which was again a breach of the COVID-19 restrictions and again drew negative publicity from high-profile local figures such as the governor Phil Murphy who branded it ‘knucklehead behavior’.
Opinions on to what extent these gatherings were NELK’s fault vary. Many loyal fans claim that the group did nothing wrong, it’s just that a group of inconsiderate fans broke the rules to try and meet the YouTubers. Others claim that it’s irresponsible on the part of NELK to encourage this kind of behavior or let their fans know where they are staying.
There was a response from the group to these events, and it was a denial of culpability. The founder Forgeard claimed that he didn’t know just how popular the NELK group was, while Deleonardis took matters into his own hands telling the gathering fans that this was hurting not helping the group.
Despite being demonetized by YouTube in 2020, the boys at NELK were never fazed.
Largely due to the overwhelming success they have had shipping their merchandise to fans all around the world.
As we’ve already mentioned, the group manages to bring in a staggering $70 million in merchandise sales every year which means it could survive on this income alone.
The group has a ‘Full Send’ store which has everything from t-shirts to hats, sporting the groups’ infamous slogan and messaging.
Merchandise sales have been such a lucrative income stream for the NELK group primarily because of the well-executed drops and promotion in the channel videos.
Knowing that they can’t make money through the YouTube channel directly any more, the boys have decided to use it as a platform to offer free value in the form of high-quality content and then throwing in some professional shots of people wearing their new gear to promote it.
This is a clever marketing ploy as each video they put out earns two million views on average, so if they promote their merchandise through each video then they are able to easily tap into their large audience.
The YouTube channel is in some respects a glorified sales funnel, offering entertainment to the viewers while funneling them through to the merch store where they can buy clothes and other gear.
The brand has also come out with its very own drink, called ‘Happy Dad’ which is a hard seltzer. It seems to have been a timely release, since hard seltzer drinks are on the rise in 2021 with many brands such as Budweiser joining the party.
The hard seltzer drink first came to market in June 2021 across the US, and the plan is to offer it in different countries over the next few years. The Happy Dad drinks are made at Minhas Breweries & Distillery which is located in Monroe, WI.
The addition of this drink to the group’s burgeoning merchandise collection will undoubtedly boost the NELK brand’s profile even further and bring in more profits.
Frequently Asked Questions About NELK
How did NELK get rich?
The NELK YouTube channel is full of ostentatious displays of wealth, and this money that the boys aren’t afraid to flaunt comes from the very medium they broadcast on: YouTube. Though not directly, since the channel has been demonetized since 2020.
A significant portion of the revenue they share comes from merchandise sales and subscriptions.
Some reports suggest that the NELK entertainment group accrue $70 million per annum in merchandise sales alone, so you can imagine how much they make per year when you throw in their other income streams.
How much are NELK worth?
It’s estimated that NELK has a net worth of around $1.8 million, though the actual figure is hard to say since the income they generate across various streams is hard to calculate.
The NELK entertainment group brings in revenue from multiple avenues, though the vast majority of it comes from merchandise sales.
The group has more than 6.7 million subscribers on their YouTube channel and more than 4 million followers on Instagram.
How much does NELK make per drop?
Merchandise is the primary source of income for NELK, so you can imagine that each time they drop new gear they earn a significant sum of money.
It’s estimated that NELK makes around $1 million from each drop, though it’s hard to say with precision.
Generally speaking, the group makes somewhere in the ballpark of $70 million per annum from merchandise sales alone making it an exceptionally lucrative venture for them.
A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot
NELK is a highly successful entertainment group that has made its fortunes primarily from its large subscriber base on YouTube, millions of views across social media platforms, and its wildly lucrative merchandise.
While each member alone probably wouldn’t be able to generate a fortune in the millions, together, the group has proved to be an unstoppable money-making machine.
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