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By Lax on Friday 01 Jul 2011
As a huge fan of Supercross and Motocross I naturally appreciate the many other extreme, action and motorsports out there.
Over the last 10 years I have proudly watched them work their way deeper into the mainstream. Thanks to increased involvement and support from outside sponsors we now receive more live TV coverage, more media attention and more respect.
Energy drink companies have capitalized on the opportunity more than any other category. They have made an enormous impact by embracing and leveraging the athletes and their various cultures. It's exactly what fans of such adrenaline fueled athletics need; a sponsor as extreme as they are with deep pockets and a willingness to embrace the fringe sports and athletes who dedicate their lives to them.
And support they do. Monster Energy sponsors 157 athletes in 29 major series and 7 sports categories. Red Bull sponsors over 400 athletes in 10 categories and Rockstar Energy sponsors over 170 athletes in 27 different sports.
Amatuer athletes and fans have rewarded them appropriately. Huge numbers of people eat, sleep, live and like it or not drink the stuff (see people chugging 32oz. Monster BFCs here). They represent the brands that support their sport by rocking shirts, stickers, jerseys, helmets, jackets, umbrellas, backpacks, waterbottles and of course cans of their favorite super juice.
At events, races, riders, teams, media, fans and everyone in between are plastered with Energy Drink logos. You simply cannot argue their grassroots marketing and social media prowess. These guys know their consumer and have figured out how to reach them. Red Bull alone has 21,160,706 likes on Facebook, just 10 million shy of Coca-Cola.
Health ramifications aside, I am thankful for the support they give our racing and riding community. It's nice to see it is paying off for many young athletes, making it possible for them to earn a living in action sports. According to Racer X Magazine, the newly crowned AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto's championship bonus from Monster was between $200,000 - $300,000. Not bad for a 22 year old MX racer, right?
However mixed up this might sound, I guess I'm ok with these guarana and taurine filled concoctions fueling the growth of one of my favorite industries.