Red Bull is undoubtedly a global giant in the energy drink industry, with their sales rocketing at 7.5 billion cans worldwide. Yet the youngsters connect with Red Bull as a brand who has a stake in a wide array of sports. Adopting a unique marketing approach, Red Bull has successful F1 teams, efficient football clubs in Austria, Germany, Brazil and United States and an endless range of extreme sport events.
We take a look at the journey of Red Bull in the world of sports and their commanding marketing approach.
History of Red Bull:
Red Bull is an Austrian company that was created in 1987.Inspired by Energy Drinks from the Far East inspired founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, who came up with his very own Red Bull energy drink and the subsequent brand. With a target group of age 18-40 in their sights, Red Bull made inroads into the US market and subsequently, the Indian market and now sells their energy drinks in 171 countries worldwide.
Building a brand name in extreme sports:
Red Bull currently owns and sponsors the Red Bull Air Race. Established in 2003, the international series of races in which competitors have to maneuver a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time. The Red Bull air race attracted attendees all weekend long and drew in about 40,500 people to the race last year.
Another extreme sport event created and managed by Red Bull is Crashed Ice which is a winter extreme sporting event. The best skaters in the world compete down a massive ice track filled with twists and turns with speeds up to 80 kmph. With a view to maximize the brand value, Red Bull organizes events like the Red Bull Soap Box race, BMXing and skateboarding.
Making a mark in football: In 2005, Red Bull purchased Austria Salzburg who were renamed FC Red Bull Salzburg. The takeover was controversial to say the least, with the energy drink drawing criticism from the fans and media over the nature of the takeover and then erasing every bit of history associated with Austria Salzburg. RB Salzburg have claimed a whopping 10 Austrian Bundesliga titles starting from the 2006-07 season. Nurturing talents like Naby Keita, Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane, RB Salzburg have consistently been UEFA Champions League regulars.
The most ambitious project taken up by Red Bull to date is fast gathering momentum in the eyes of football fans –RasenBallsport Bull Leipzig. Red Bull stated their ambitions to compete in the German top-flight and Leipzig swiftly moved to a new stadium, aptly named the Red Bull Arena. After hefty investment from the Austrian group, RB Leipzig finally got their wish when they were promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016. Within 3 seasons, RB Leipzig contested in the Champions League semi-final against PSG last season. The pipeline of young talent coming out of Leipzig factory has made it imperative for the football world to take notice and admire.
In addition, New York Red Bulls of USA and Red Bull Bragantino of Brazil are other teams in which the brand has made considerable investment.
Force to reckon with in F1: There are also two Formula One teams in the roster; senior outfit Red Bull and feeder side Toro Rosso. Red Bull gained an entry into F1 by acquiring Jaguar racing in 2005. Red Bull Racing won four consecutive Drivers' Championships with Sebastian Vettell between 2010 and 2013. While they haven't won since, 23-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen is their hope to end that barren spell in the coming season.
Other associations include the high profile Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Fives, which has attracted interest all over the world, largely due to Neymar’s wide fan following. Red Bull prides itself with associations with high profile English athletes like Liverpool sensation Trent Alexander Arnold and World Cup hero Ben Stokes.
Red Bull uses an emotional model to encourage youngsters to purchase Red Bull. For example, in their advertisements, Red Bull’s drink contents are not highlighted. Also, the message of Red Bull portrays the image of Red Bull such as ‘Red Bull isn’t a drink, it’s a way of life’, and ‘Red Bull gives you wings’. With a view to reach out to the youth, Red Bull has targeted sports and teams which resonates with the message Red Bull tries to get across through media promotions, sports teams and adrenaline pumped events.
The question which arises is what the future holds for Red Bull and their exciting projects based on developing youth, adrenaline rush and sportsman spirit!