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The Winner of the Winter Olympics is…

redbullRed Bull!

The marketers at Red Bull win the gold. .. they’ve managed to create  a giant infomercial at the winter games by aligning the Red Bull brand with the best, most charismatic athletes. Red Bull is the primary sponsor for Lindsay Vonn and Shaun White. The Red Bull logo has been front and center throughout the Olympic coverage.

For example, check out the interview of Shaun White on a recent edition of 60 Minutes. The segment is a 13 minute advertisement for Red Bull.


Red Bull built Shaun White a $500,000 snowboarding superpipe where Shaun can practice and learn new moves. This “pipe” is only accessible by helicopter and only used by Shaun (and the other fellow media he shares this experience with). The pipe is equipped with high-definition video cameras so he can improve his form.  Check it out at

Are they just lucky or is Red Bull incredibly strategic? Red Bull works hard to partner with athletes who mimic their target consumer. A curling sponsorship of Debbie McCormick would not seem quite as brilliant, now would it?  Seriously, could you find a better athlete to embody the brand promise than Lindsay Vonn while she is sporting her Red Bull cap? With her All-American beauty, high energy and winning zeal, she provides a dose of glitz and glamour for Red Bull.

Red Bull Hat

Red Bull Hat

That said, what if Lindsay Vonn hadn’t won? What if the rain had stopped and Lindsay had less time for her shin to heal?  Sometimes marketers are just lucky AND good.

It appears the results are paying off. According to Hoovers, Red Bull has about a 70% market share and sells over a billion cans in more than 100 countries every year. They grew 22% in 2009.

Finally, check out Red Bull’s site at  – specifically the Holy ShX* area. Like Shaun White, the marketers at Red Bull are not afraid to take a few risks!

Shaun White

Shaun White

Red Bull definitely knows how to pick the winners… and then activate their sponsorship dollars for winning results.  They are definitely getting more out of their sponsorship dollars than the big name Olympic Sponsors (not naming names). All the bells and whistles—and no cow bells (thank goodness)!

Tell us which company you think is doing a good job with their Olympic sponsorships…

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