How Red Bull has molded the sport product to increase its brand equity

red bullThe indistinguishable logo of Red Bull, the energy drink company that has seemingly taken over an entire sports industry. Red Bull has displayed through their incredible expansion in the extreme sports industry that they are capable of moving far beyond the energy drinks they are known so well for. They have pushed the envelope in terms of their brand identity, and have moved beyond simply sponsoring licensed teams and events. They have followed the paths of many others such as apparel brands Puma and Quicksilver who like Red Bull did not previously offer a sport product, and have attempted to develop their own brand identities around sport culture, rather than rely on associations with other sports organizations.

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Just a few of the sub brands Red Bull has created to help increase its brand equity

Red Bull has created various sub brands through which it has immersed its brand in extreme sport culture on an international scale. Their sub brands range from things like their multiple Red Bulls soccer teams which play on a professional level, and have a licensing agreement with Adidas who creates their team apparel, all the way to the Red Bull X Fighters who are an elite team of stunt pilots, to their world champion Formula 1 racing team. They have made merchandise and apparel available for each of these sub brands, which only account for a miniscule portion of the branding that Red Bull can lay claim to. One of these sub brands has made them a major creator of digital content. The Red Bull Media House. Red Bull has become one of the leading producers of extreme sports film and photography, all of which they have made available through this site. This site allows for consumers to not only purchase hard copies of their productions, but licensing agreements can also be made on the spot to allow you to share Red Bulls content via your own medium.

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A diver leaps from his perch in Red Bulls World Series of Cliff Diving

Red Bull has kicked off another incredibly successful year introducing some of its newest events such as the Word Series of Cliff Diving, while also bringing back some of their classics like the Red Bull Flugtag, and Red Bull Supernatural snowboarding competition. Each year these events make a return, they do so in spectacular fashion, expanding their size, locations, and reach all the while maintaining a highly interactive social media presence. Just a few portfolio examples of Red Bull applying itself in a creative way to continuously make their brand identity more synonymous with extreme sports culture. Red Bull has created countless new events and teams within the extreme sports genre and continues to pump out incredible content as well as athletes. They have even branded athlete development programs to improve their chances of sponsoring top athletes and gaining an advantage while they are still in the development process. Because Red Bull has been so successful in their branding they are also able to charge price premiums, knowing that consumers will pay more for products sporting their name and logo.

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The Red Bull Flugtag. An annual competition where teams compete in an effort to create their best flying machines. All the while remaining synonymous with Red Bull’s slogan “Red Bull gives you wings”

Red Bull has done what so many others have tried, they have molded the sport product in such a way to both increase their brand awareness significantly, but is remain synonymous to their overarching brand identity. They dismantled the consumer association with simply energy drinks and rebuilt it as something more than that. Rather than sponsor an event, Red Bull creates their own. Rather than sponsor a formula 1 racing team, Red Bull develops their own team (which also happens to be the #1 team in the world for the last 3 years). They continuously capitalize on every opportunity they can to create their OWN content and events. This is what separates them from their competitors and has made them so successful. Constantly promoting their brand values, using innovative and often inspirational techniques. Red Bull continuously looks for the opportunity to push human extremes and to inspire all those who come across one of their spectacular events. 

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Red Bulls World champion Formula 1 racing team.

It is resoundingly clear that the folks at Red Bull have created a product and brand identity that is tantamount to the extreme sports culture. Through their brand strategy, social media integration, event development, creation of licensable content, and ability to develop their own brands and teams, and media divisions for which they can license and sell content they have become one of the most prevalent and well-known brands in the last decade.

Twitter, Facebook, and the battle for social supremacy in the NFL

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, coats are leaving their closets, fireplaces are burning away the cobwebs and football season is in full swing. Every sunday TV‘s, computer, and phones screens are lighting up as people prepare themselves for the most important day of the week.

The NFL has been on a mission to provide a more interactive and encompassing fan experience in hopes of increasing stadium attendance, and their global reach. Social media platforms have been quick to hop on board with the NFL, who sees social media as a great way to access thousands of new fans, while reinforcing their brand identity in their current fans. Twitter has broken through the NFL’s strict digital distribution rules, and struck a major deal that looks to provide major benefits to both sides.

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Twitter and the NFL working together

The NFL has gained the ability to run promoted advertisements on Twitter feeds. These ads will be integrated in real time fashion as the games play out on television screens, featuring videos of big hits and game breaking plays. Based on Twitters current ad style, they will not interrupt the flow of the users feed. This is HUGE for the NFL as they now have the ability to reach thousands of new potential fans, while keeping their current fans satisfied with a plethora of highlight reel moments. Mobile phones are becoming an increasingly important tool to the common sports fan. Updates are now on a constant stream as content is thrown at us from the endless sea of apps that only continues to grow. The NFL has already made some moves on the mobile market by completely revamping their NFL app to make it more intuitive for fan use. From here you can watch live games and highlights, with a constant stat tracker for every game and every player so fans can find what they want when they want it. Twitter stands to gain just as much, if not more from the deal as they expand their advertising horizons. Twitter has gained exclusive rights to the NFL’s digital content, which has been a struggle for many others who have tried. They stand to gain the most financially from the deal, according to an ESPN and EMarketer Inc. estimate Twitter will double their ad revenue from $583 million to over $1 billion. It will be interesting to see if Twitter will update the way their ads stream on users feeds to make the content more visible.

However Twitter is not the only social media giant striking deals with major sports organizations. Facebook has hopped on the bandwagon, also striking a deal with FOX Sports that will allow the platform to air real time fan feeds on television broadcasts for the NFL, soccer and college football. Neither of the companies are paying each other in the deal, which is solely to increase their reach while increasing fan interaction. Facebook was able to calculate that during prime time television hours, anywhere from 88 to 100 million people are active on the book. They have also noticed a significant jump in activity during football hours, suggesting that fans are making their voices heard via the social media platform. FOX sports and Facebook are giving them a chance to share that voice in real time for an even bigger audience than simply their online friends. Facebook, which is typically not a platform associated with real time activities like this has been attempting to increase its presence in live events, similar to the ways Twitter is used. They have been adopting a number of strategies already used by Twitter such as searchable hashtags, and verified pages. As Facebook looks to increase fan interaction and activity during prime time hours, FOX Sports is looking to increase fans interaction while viewing their programs. They are going beyond simply a live stream open to comments by posing fan questions, casting real time polls, and including a major feature that monitors fan “volume” via their Facebook and Instagram activity during game time.

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Facebook has implemented verified pages to steer fans clear of mock accounts

The NFL has a lot to gain from utilizing its social media outreach. As our society becomes increasingly adept to the multi screen lifestyle, reaching customers via their mobile devices is a necessity in this day and age. Social media platforms also stand to gain a lot from opportunities like these, and have been able to leverage their real time interaction strategies to increase user interaction on their sites. Sports thrive on their social nature. Facebook and Twitter are both great tools used by sports fans, for sports fans. As the NFL strikes deals with them, the NBA, MLB, and NHL will not be far behind as sports organizations look to find ways to increase their fan interaction, because who doesn’t want to feel like they’re part of the team?