Blog: The freefall gamble that earned Red Bull its wings
Andy Morton | 16 October 2012
Red Bull reached new heights on Sunday
It may not equal Felix Baumgartner's leap into the unknown on Sunday, but when Red Bull agreed to fund the extreme parachutist's attempt to freefall from near space, executives at the Austrian firm were taking their own big risk.
Space travel, even near-space travel, is expensive, and if Baumgartner had died in his attempt Red Bull could have been indelibly linked to the result. But the gamble paid off, perhaps better than anyone could have expected.
The jump, which can be seen below, was yesterday called “perhaps the greatest marketing stunt of all time” in Forbes magazine and estimated to be worth “tens of millions of dollars of global exposure”. Eight million people online watched the moment Baumgartner stepped from his balloon 24 miles above the New Mexico desert and many more have seen the blanket media coverage.
Of course, this is all in keeping with Red Bull's unique focus on extreme sports, as outlined in this Guardian article, from its high-profile sponsorship of a Formula One team to funding ex-ice hockey pros to race down mountains. None, though, have had the penetration of yesterday's planetary plunge.
So, well done, Red Bull. And well done, Felix Baumgartner. While Heineken and the Coca-Cola Co continue to spend millions on football and the Olympics, his one small step for man resulted in one giant leap for Austrian energy drinks.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Focus - Pernod Ricard's Q1 sales by brand
- Time for Heineken to make a European break
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Whisky downturn slows Diageo's Scotch spend
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Pernod Ricard sees sales lift in Q1