Category Archives: Sport

The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic

The Olympics are unlike any other sporting competition on the planet. For 16 days, over 300 events representing 35 sports and every country on the planet compete to take home their prized medals, and I have looked forward to watching the Summer Olympics every 4 years since as far back as I can remember. But there’s always been something missing. One of the United States most popular sports, and a top 10 sport throughout the world, it looks as though tackle and flag football could be Olympic sports by the year 2024, but issue obstacles still remain for that to become a reality. First we’ll walk through some reasons why the road to getting American Football included into the Olympics has not been an easy journey, followed by why we believe flag football to be the logical solution and choice as a future Olympic sport.

WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?
According to an article by NFL.com, the biggest logistical problems facing the sport of American Football being included in the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the large numbers of participants on each team, the “gender equality” formats where both men and women participate in every sport, and the compressed 3 week schedule that would be tough with a more physical game like football and rugby. Furthermore for American Football, the barrier to entry is high due to it’s cost to equip all players with pads and gear, and therefor has also been slow to adopt in many foreign countries, especially of the poorer variety.

Knowing all this, it’s hard to see how either sport would be a good fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that very little is needed to play the sport in terms of gear and practice at it’s base level, and has a much larger international following. This among other reasons has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less traditional “sevens” format which is faster paced with less people, which could help carve a similar path for American Football, or flag football more specifically.

TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS
Even more and more high school, college and pro teams are starting to reduce the number of contact practices, still sporting the likes of soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for added protection. But what if we could limit the contact players see before high school and middle school while also addressing some of the concerns for the sport related to it being fully accepted into the Olympics?There’s a lot of talk recently revolving around the safety of tackle football, and not just in the NFL where concussions are a major concern. Starting as far back as the youth football level, recent evidence has surfaced supporting the idea that even short of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can manifest in similar brain injuries later in life for kids tested between the ages of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting kids shouldn’t be playing football at all, suggesting that kids’ heads are “a larger part of their body, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater risk of head and brain injuries than adults.”

DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL
As of 2015, studies show that flag football is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States, greatly outpacing the growth of traditional tackle football. Many individual high schools are making the switch to flag football over tackle, getting other schools in their regions to follow suit creating organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially recognized varsity sport in many states, and with women especially flag football is a way to allow easier participation versus the physical nature of tackle.And he’s not the only one. Recently Drew Brees was interviewed by Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had some strong words on why he believes flag football is the answer. “I feel like flag football can save football,” Brees said. Brees coaches his son’s flag football team, and played flag football himself through junior high, never playing tackle football until high school. “I feel like (flag football) is a great introductory method for a lot of kids into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise I feel it’s very easy to go in and have a bad experience early on and then not want to ever play it again. I feel like once you put the pads on there are just so many other elements to the game, and you’re at the mercy of the coach in a lot of cases too. And to be honest, I don’t think enough coaches are well-versed enough in regards to the true fundamentals of the game especially when the pads go on at the youth level.” Many other pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments as well, singing praises for the sport of flag football, and the rise in popularity of the sport echoes that.

Flag football isn’t a fluke or just a recreational development tool that feeds into tackle football, it’s a full-fledged movement that has it’s own identity and purpose and it’s time we recognized that distinction.

Internationally it is gaining popularity as well, much faster it seems than traditional American football where the barrier to entry is much higher with the need for full pads and gear. In Mexico for instance, flag football is booming in popularity, where most consider it to be the #2 sport to soccer and closing fast, with and estimated 2.5 million kids participating just at the elementary school level. International teams are starting to make the trip to some of the more popular American flag football tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and more a common occurrence.

Everywhere you look, participation and interest in the sport flag football is exploding.

At an adult level, it was a record year for the sport of flag football. New major tournaments are popping up across the world, seeing thousands of teams competing across all age groups, formats and styles. Cash prizes have been at an all time high, expected to eclipse over $100,000 in team giveaways in the next calendar year. Sponsors have started taking notice as well, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.com, Red Bull and other major brands seeing the value and growth from flag football as a way to effectively reach their target audience in large numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time high as well, mirroring it’s popularity at the youth level, and is the preferred format of play for American football in most Central to South American countries.

So how does this all lead back to the Olympics and getting American football included as an official sport? First, let’s review a little history on where the sport stands today with the International Olympic Committee, or IOC.

Historically, In order to be included into the Olympic games as a demonstration sport, you have to have an International Federation and have held a World Championship competition. This must take place a minimum of 6 years before a scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, primarily focused on tackle football but includes flag in it’s tournament lineup, met this standard and was approved in 2012, and gained provisional recognition in 2014. This could pave the way for American football to be included as an official sport, and flag football as possibly a discipline of said sport, however the IFAF has since faced setbacks due to alleged scandal, event mismanagement and misappropriation of funds that cannot bode well for the sports inclusion short term. Fortunately in 2007 the IOC adopted a new, more flexible rule set allowing programs to be up for review after every Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a path for all sports to present their case for being included by winning a simple majority vote.

So the opportunity is there for American football to be included in the most prestigious sporting event around the world, but how do we overcome the obstacles presented by the structure of the sport to fit the mold of a successful Olympic sporting event?

FLAG FOOTBALL IS THE KEY TO OLYMPIC INCLUSION
For every way tackle football doesn’t fit the mold as a logical choice for the IOC, there’s flag football. Here are the top 4 reasons flag football should be considered to be included as the next Olympic sport.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

As we’ve already established, flag football is a much safer alternative than tackle football. Less hits and collisions equal fewer injuries, and flag football is already a proven success model that’s being praised for preserving the game for future generations. But when it comes to the Summer Olympic Games, safety is just one aspect of the physical demands of the sport, considering you have less than a 3 week window to fit in all levels of competition, and the year-round activity needed to practice and qualify. Imagine playing 6-7 full contact football games with a limited roster all within a span of ~16 days, not to mention other possible qualifying events throughout the year. For flag football, it’s not uncommon to play 6-7 games in a weekend or sometimes even a day, so the sport is more than equipped for this style of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As mentioned above, this is a major issue when determining whether a sport is fit to be considered, and while traditional American style tackle football is extremely popular worldwide as well, flag football appeals to more countries. It’s a lower barrier to entry as far as cost and equipment go, don’t require full length and striped football fields to participate, and is easier to hold larger tournament competitions and leagues to inspire local interest.

3. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which format would be used (our guess is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires far fewer participants than traditional tackle football. Part of this is due to it being a less physically demanding sport and the need for less substitutions, and another part is due to needing less specialist players, such as kickers, punters, special teams, offensive lineman, etc. Where each traditional tackle football team would probably carry 50+ competitors, flag football would need probably 15 players at most, cutting that number to less than a third. This is important because the Olympics cap their total participants to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It also again allows more countries to compete, especially poorer countries, where fielding a smaller and less financially demanding team coupled with the reasons above makes more sense.

4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a major emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the first time all sports included competing women in their category. Today, any new sport that is added to the Olympic Games must include both male and female participants. For tackle football, there is just not nearly enough interest from women participators for it to make sense. While there are some female players, and even some female tackle football leagues and organizations, it just doesn’t fit the mold, especially with the other issues relating to physicality and barrier to entry. For flag football this is not a problem as detailed above, with female participation booming internationally.

Weight Loss & Sports and Energy Drinks

Sports and Energy Drinks – Who Needs Them?

Sports drinks have become a staple of American athletics. Every major sports team including the NFL, Major League Baseball, and NASCAR, are sponsored by and use sports drinks. Given the large amount of calories and sugar in the drinks, the issue is who needs them and do they quench thirst and really rehydrate people?

Physical activity of any kind exposes everyone to the possibility of dehydration. Numerous factors determine how one sweats and therefore how much water replacement will be needed during and after exercise. Fluid replacement depends on environmental factors including temperature, sun exposure, humidity, and wind, as well as the intensity and duration of the activity. Not only is there a difference between different activities, but between individuals; some people simply sweat more than others and need greater fluid replacement.

Excessive dehydration is as a loss of a body weight of 2% or greater with physical activities. Thus a 160 lb person is dehydrated if he loses 3.2 lb. or more during an event. They use average sweat rates (the amount of fluid lost per hour during exercise) to predict the possibility of dehydration. Here are some sports performed outside and the average sweat rates: basketball- 1.4 liters/hour, soccer -1.5 liters/hour, tennis -1.7 liters/hour and running 0.75 liters/ hour (at a speed of 5 mph.).

How can you tell if you are dehydrated:

Measure body weight before and after exercise, any more than a 2 % loss is dehydration. If you divide the difference by the number of hours exercising you get your sweat rate. Make sure you account for water you are drinking during the exercise.

Here are guidelines for Hydration during Exercise.

  1. Eat balanced meals 24 hours before the exercise
  2. Two hours before exercise drink 14 oz of water
  3. During exercise drink water every 15-20 minute to replace water loss.
  4. Weigh yourself after exercise, if you lose weight; rehydrate yourself with 16 oz. of water for every lb. lost.
  5. Fluids should be cooler than outside temperature and flavored to enhance palatability.
  6. For exercises lasting more than one hour, than add a sports drinks with sugar and minerals

The need for carbohydrates and extra electrolytes -that is the addition of a sports drinks depends on specific exercise including the intensity, duration and weather conditions. In general The American College of Sports Medicine does not recommend the need for sports drinks for exercise that occurs inside a building or for less than 90 minutes outside.

Here are the ingredients in 8 oz. of a sports drinks:

* Gatorade: 50 calories, 14 grams sugar (from sucrose syrup and high-fructose corn syrup), 110 mg sodium,no caffeine, small amounts of potassium, no vitamins, no protein Gatorade is sold in bottles of 12, 20, 24 and 32 oz. The smallest bottle contains 75 calories and has 21 grams of sugar which is for children. The standard bottle is 20 oz. and has 2.5 portions or 150 calories and 35 grams of sugar.

* Propel Fitness Water: 10 calories, 2 grams sugar from sucrose syrup; also sweetened with Splenda, 35 mgsodium, no caffeine

* Accelerade: 80 calories, 15 grams of sugar, no high fructose syrup, 120 mg. of sodium, 4 grams of protein,no caffeine

* PowerAde: 64 calories, 17 grams sugar, 53 mg. of sugar, no caffeine. The 20 oz. bottle has 190 calories and42 grams of sugar

Energy drinks (8 ounces):

As a reference 8 oz. of coffee contains 2 calories and 95-100 mg. of caffeine, 12 oz. of regular soda contains 140 calories and 35-38 mg. of caffeine

* Red Bull: 110 calories, 27 grams sugar (from sucrose and glucose), 200 mg sodium, contains 76mgcaffeine. Other ingredients include various vitamins. Red Bull is also available in a sugar-free option with acesulfame K, aspartame, and inositol as sweeteners. This version contains 10 calories and 0 grams sugar.

* Rock Star: 140 calories, 31 grams sugar (from sucrose and glucose), 125 mg sodium, 80 mg caffeine. RockStart is available in a sugar-free option sweetened with acesulfame potassium and Splenda. This version has 10 calories and 0 grams sugar.

* Sobe, Energy Citrus Flavor:120 calories, 31 grams sugar (mainly from high-fructose corn syrup and orange juice concentrate), 15 mg sodium, contains caffeine.

Fortified waters (8 ounces):

* Propel Fitness Water. 10 calories, 2 grams sugar, 35 milligrams sodium. various vitamins.

* Glaceau Vitamin Water — Energy. 50 calories, 13 grams sugar (from crystalline fructose), 0 mg sodium, 50mg caffeine, various vitamins.

How sports drinks provide benefits to exercisers:

Sports drinks can help keep bodies functioning normally even under conditions of extreme physical exertion. They provide ingredients that cause rapid fluid absorption that has the effect of maintaining physical functions and preventing dehydration. The carbohydrates which include sucrose and fructose provide energy to working muscles. The sodium, glucose and flavors stimulate the body to want to drink even more fluids. Thirst isn’t a good measure of dehydration because by the time we’re thirsty we are already dehydrated. The small amount of sodium encourages people to drink beyond the point at which “mouth thirst” is satisfied.

Does everyone who is exercising need sports drinks?

Although these products provide many advantages to the sweating athlete, they also add calories and sugars. Do ordinary people, teens and children really need them? The answer lies in how much a person is sweating.

During exercise lasting less than one hour there’s little evidence of any difference in performance between exercisers who drink beverages containing carbohydrates and electrolytes and those who drink plain water

Why some individuals do not need sports drinks:

Many people have no idea about the nutrient content of these drinks. They report they consume these drinks for many reasons including improved immunity from diseases, “better health,” “energy” and because they replace “vital nutrients.” They have no idea of the calories, amount of sugar nor the fact that the “energy” from energy drinks is due to high levels of caffeine- hardly healthy and certainly not “natural.”

Drinking a single daily 150 calorie bottle of sports drinks adds 15 lb. and 2 inches to the waist over a year. Sports drinks have a little more than half of the calories of a regular soda.

Sports drinks are good for re-hydrating adults, children or teens that are playing sports outside in the heat that are more than 90 minutes, and involve high intensity and endurance. The words to remember are: intense, outside, duration and hot. Sports drinks have no place for most children and teens doing light exercise especially inside an air conditioned building, not sweating heavily, or doing no exercise all. In this situation, plain water is perfectly adequate and does not add extra calories and unneeded sugar. Drinking a single sports drink containing 150 calories and 42 grams of sugar, (the same as a can of soda) will easily “cancel” out 30 minutes of walking. For most typical workouts water is perfectly adequate

Sports Programming In DIRECTV

DIRECTV is the leader in Sports Programming that contributes many sports packages to their subscribers. NFL SUNDAY TICKET, NASCAR HotPass, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FULL COURT, MLB EXTRA INNINGS, NBA League Pass, NHL CENTER ICE, MLS Direct Kick, CricketTicket, Setanta Sports, NCAA MEGA MARCH, Sports Pack, Golf, Tennis, UFC and WWE are the sports packages present in DIRECTV.

NFL SUNDAY TICKET

Subscribers can enjoy football like never before in NFL SUNDAY TICKET that is available only on DIRECTV. Subscribers can watch up to 14 games every Sunday with real time scores, in-depth stats and player – tracking. Up to 18 players in real time can be tracked on the screen. Live Big play alerts for players will be given every time when players perform game changing play.

Multi and single game score boards will be displayed on the same screen. The scores can be displayed quarter by quarter in the scoring plays. Subscribers can check the stats of the top performers and also the top three players in each team in rushing, passing and receiving with the help of Player Stats. The team stats comprises of first downs conversions, rushing and passing yards. Subscribers can view the performance of the team with real time division by division standings accompanied by wild card race information.

Supercharge NFL SUNDAY TICKET with SuperFan, benefits every game in crystal clear HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound that delivers up to 14 NFL games on Sunday and telecasts Sunday games live on your mobile phone and computer. In Game Mix channel, subscribers can view up to 8 live games on a single screen and also televises 30 minute commercial free replays of entire games. The Red Zone Channel delivers final yards of every scoring.

DIRECTV SUPERCAST allows subscribers to watch NFL SUNDAY TICKET games on the computer. Subscribers can view the scores and game status for the completed and in-progress games, Acquire Game and player stats right away for each game. They can enjoy every NFL SUNDAY TICKET game with Red Zone Channel and switch from one game to the another at any time.

SUPERCAST MOBILE allows subscribers to view NFL SUNDAY TICKET games on the mobile phone. SUPERCAST Mobile is free to all SuperFan subscribers that provides all features of SUPERCAST Computer Application such as Highlights, Streaming Video, Scores and Stats.

NASCAR Hotpass

Subscribers can experience all races with excitement that is accessible only on DIRECTV and its free to all subscribers of DIRECTV. In NASCAR Hotpass subscribers can feel every turn, every lap with four dedicated driver channel that is available in HD.

The Four dedicated driver channel centers on one Driver throughout the race. Subscribers can watch multiple camera angles, inside and out from the driver’s in-car camera on one screen and also broadcast network audio and the driver’s team radio. All the four channels will be broadcasted in HD. Every thunderous turn, near-miss wall scrape will keep subscribers on the edge of the seat every second by DIRECTV HD. NASCAR Hotpass is available to all subscribers of DIRECTV for free of cost.

ESPN GamePlan

ESPN GamePlan is the college football on TV where subscribers can view up to 12 college football games from eight major conferences and watch up to 150 key rivalries and match ups even if subscribers live out of the area.

Atlantic coast, Big East, Big 12, Mid American, Pacific-10, Southeastern, Western Athletic and Sun Belt are the main conferences of ESPN GamePlan.

ESPN FULL COURT

The ESPN FULL COURT will provide up to 30 college basketball games a week including key match – ups from the top conferences. Subscribers are able to follow the team as they battle for conference titles no matter where subscribers live. Atlantic coast, Big East, Big 12, Colonial Athletic, Mid American, Metro Atlantic, Pacific-10, Southeastern, Western Athletic and Sun Belt are the main conferences of ESPN FULL COURT.

MLB EXTRA INNINGS

Subscribers can follow their home team throughout the season in MLB EXTRA INNINGS with up to 80 games a week that comprises of 40 games a week in striking crystal clear HD and eight games can be tuned on a single screen and one can be selected to view full screen.

NBA LEAGUE PASS In NBA LEAGUE PASS, subscribers are able to follow their favorite teams with up to 40 games per week, in that eight games will be displayed in the night. Subscribers can experience up to 20 of these games per week in stunning HD clarity.

NBA TV offers the best basketball coverage, award winning original series and live events. It also displays live games, latest scores, in depth analysis or Interviews. It is easy to go with NBA LEAGUE PASS STATS CENTRAL that affords real time updates, scores and stats of all game. NBA LEAGUE PASS BROADBAND gives access to live games online.

NHL CENTER ICE Subscribers can watch up to 40 games a week and select play off games from NHL CENTER ICE. They can look out the ice spray in crystal clear HD. The Dual feed feature in NHL CENTER ICE allows subscribers to listen to the opposing team’s commentary.

NHL CENTER ICE package includes Live games, Daily Highlight Shows, Up to the minute hockey news, international and vintage hockey, player profiles, interviews with 24 hour NHL coverage in both SD and HD.

MLS Direct Kick

MLS Direct Kick brings soccer action from all 15 Major League Soccer teams throughout the season. Subscribers can catch up to 130 regular season matches and opt playoff games no matters where they live to watch.

Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C.United, Kansas City Wizards, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC belongs to eastern conference of MLS Teams.

Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC belongs to western conference of MLS Teams.

CricketTicket

CricketTicket is an intensive U.S home for major international cricket events, comprising the ICC tournaments, IPL tournaments, Champions League Twenty20 and many other cricket events. CricketTicket brings an entire season of exciting matches from Australia, India and Srilanka.

Setanta Sports

Setanta Sports channel in DIRECTV displays the most soccer and rugby action around the globe. Subscribers can enjoy 24 hours access to the Barclays premier league, 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Six Nations and Super 14.

Barclays Premier League, UEFA champions League, The FA Cup, England Internationals, UEFA Cup, Carling Cup, 2010 FIFA World cup qualifiers, English Championship/ League 1 & 2, International Friendlies, Scottish Premier League, Scottish FA Cup, MUTV, Chelsea TV and 2012 Euro Qualifiers are the soccer leagues in Setanta Sports.

Heineken European Cup, Guinness English Premiership, Super 14, Tri Nations, IRB Rugby Sevens, The British & Irish Lions Tour 2009, Currie Cup, Air New Zealand Cup, The Fall Tour England International, Six Nations, Powergen Cup, Magners League, Super League and Rugby League are the Rugby Leagues in Setanta Sports and Gaelic Football & Hurling, Aussie Rules are the other Leagues.

NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS

NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS provides all games of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament in HD. Subscribers can find NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS only on DIRECTV. In Game Mix, Up to 4 games can be viewed on a single screen and one can be selected to watch the game in full screen. Subscribers can acquire scores and real time updates from the tournament at the press of a button. They can create picks and track their progress throughout the tournament.

SPORTS PACK

SPORTS PACK in DIRECTV allows subscribers to enjoy more than 35 sports channels 24 hours a day that comprises of NBA TV, The MTN, GoLTV, MSG, YES Network and International Sports, College Sports, extreme seasonal sports – all in one fantastic pack. Subscribers can grab the games around the country with over 20 sports network. Any game can be recorded and watched later with a DIRECTV DVR. The favorite sports of subscribers can be enjoyed with HD.

NBA TV HD, TVG – The Interactive Horseracing Network, Outdoor Channel, CBS College Sports HD, The MTN, Fox Soccer Channel, GoLTV, Fox Sports en Espanol, Comcast SportsNet New England HD, Madison Square Garden, YES Network HD, New England Sports Network HD, MSG PLUS HD, SportsNet New York HD, Mid – Atlantic Sports Network HD, FSN Pittsburgh HD, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic HD, FSN South HD, SportSouth HD, Sun Sports HD, FSN Florida, FSN Detroit HD, FSN Ohio, FSN Cincinnati, SportsTime Ohio HD, Comcast SportsNet Chicago HD, FSN North HD, FSN Southwest HD, Altitude Sports and Entertainment HD, FSN Rocky Mountain HD, FSN Midwest HD, FSN Arizona HD, FSN Northwest HD, FSN West HD, FSN Prime Ticket HD, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Comcast SportsNet California are the channels available in DIRECTV SPORTS PACK.

Grand Slam Golf

Subscribers can feel the Grand Slam Golf with spread out coverage on multiple channels that can be viewed in full screen or all the four at once on one screen. The bonus coverage of the PGA Championship from Hazeltine National Golf Club will be displayed on three dedicated channels. Subscribers can enjoy the coverage of three channels on a single screen or opt any one of it to tune in full screen. They can feel every swing with breathtaking clarity in HD. Subscriber can visualize the real time scores for players without missing even a stroke and keep tabs on all popular golfers throughout the tournament.

Grand Slam Tennis

The U.S open, Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon can be enjoyed by subscribers on multiple channels in full screen or all at once in a single screen. Having the most reputable Grand Slam Tournament from the All England Club is the compliment of DIRECTV. The bonus coverage of multiple matches can be viewed on separate channels or on a single channel, Wimbledon Mix Channel. With Match Guide, the scores of the matches and the real time scores of the top most players will be progressed on the court channels. Subscriber can feel the antagonism and actions in crystal clear HD.

UFC

DIRECTV’s Pay Per View UFC delivers the passion of world class kings of the cage like Georges St-Pierre, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and many more. The fight can be recorded in the DVR from any computer or mobile phone. Subscribers can experience every blow and the bead of soil in clear HD. The names of the contenders and the results can be viewed with the help of the Past UFC Events if the seer didn’t watch the live match-ups.

Sports Marketing And The Evolution

Sport is a winning medium that reach a worldwide audience every day, guaranteeing sponsors benefits that are not comparable with traditional media such as TV, radio and the press. This is confirmed also by the ever increasing number of hours that the major television networks worldwide dedicate to sport in all its forms and expressions and by the number of professional Sports Marketing Agencies that suggest to their clients to use sport in promotional activities.
Sport, as a communication tool, is unique in its ability to break down traditional cultural and linguistic barriers and is a competitive, creative and fruitful business product that is suitable for achieving different marketing objectives, such as:

– Increasing brand popularity/awareness

– Changing brand profile

– Enhancing brand/product

– Creating worldwide product recognition

– Attracting new market segments

– Enlarging the distribution network

In order to give an idea of the popularity of sport, we provide you with some data from the Motorbike World Championship, one of the most spectacular and sometimes heroic of all sporting events. In 2005 MotoGp has experienced continuous growth in viewing figures, attendance and investments:

– 17 Grands Prix, hosted in 15 countries across 5 continents

– TV programs about the Motorbike World Championship have been broadcast in 207 – countries-

– Over 3,790 TV broadcasting hours

– 276 million households reached

– Total viewing figures of 5,290 million in 184 countries for live Grand Prix coverage

– Average viewing audience of 311 million per Grand Prix

– Average attendance of 120,000 spectators at the circuit, with peaks of 237,000

– About 2,034,000 overall attendance

(Source: Dorna Sport S.L., 2005 Review)

And that’s not all! What really makes sport such a good marketing tool is that it gives companies the opportunity to associate their own brand and product values with the values of the discipline itself.
Sponsorship formats and models evolve constantly. The first and most “classical” model is the “Sponsorship Buy Model”, where the sponsor buys a package that has already been created and becomes involved in the final stage of the event.
The next step is the “Sponsorship Make Model”, a more recent version, in which the sponsor plays an active role in the creation of the event, taking part in its conception and organising it according to its own objectives and values. If properly coordinated, this model is a winning one, as it allows to create moment-events that are rich in meaning for the consumer. That’s why professional Sports Marketing Agencies have often promoted this kind of planning.
The scenario is currently moving towards the “Sponsorship Create and Manage Model”, which allows the sponsor to manage the whole range of activities connected to an event and to define sport-based communication in various areas.

A great example of how sports sponsorship models are evolving is provided by Red Bull.
Let’s analyze how they managed and adapt their activities over time.
At the beginning they started buying small sponsorship packages in different sports. Their approach was different from anything previously seen in the sport business arena: Red Bull chose to be involved with the wild and crazy world of extreme disciplines, such as heli-skiing, tobogganing or jumping out of airplanes. In doing so, the company was able to test sport related benefits and began to be remembered thanks to sport-related elements.
Moving beyond this to a second stage, Red Bull used such “sport experience” to create its own promotional events, involving hundreds and hundreds of fans, customers and potential customers at circuits and on starting grids, in the mountains or in the skies.
Finally, the last step in this sponsorship evolution strategy brought Red Bull to enter the Formula 1 racing world. Firstly they simply gave to some of the F1 grand prix drivers a branded drinking bottle. After testing and verified their ROI results, they decided to expand their branding promotion into a logo to be featured on F1 cars: the Sauber Team.
In 2005 the company decided to expand their marketing effort and to fully manage the entire project. They acquire a whole Formula 1 Team, and name it as “Red Bull Racing – Formula 1 Team”. This sponsorship model has become the starting point for a number of activities and events managed by the company itself: In this case Sport sponsorship is transformed into a business platform for building, creating and managing sports related projects.
This new model is essential to maximize the capacity of the events to capture an audience via multimedia coverage, to extend its memorability, for the formation of a community and so on. This results in a direct increase and consolidation of brand awareness.

  1. If you’re looking for something to really get the adrenalin pumping, why not try out-running a bunch of 600 pound bulls. In mid July 95 during a surf trip around the European coastline I dropped into Pampalona to take part in the famous bull running festival, in which thousands of nutters (and myself) ran down a stretch of winding streets, being chased by about 10 angry bulls.

The event starts at 8:00am, every morning for a week, where if you are taking part you find yourself a spot within the crowd. The run starts in a stretch of old style Spanish street between two tall buildings, loaded with locals making the sign of cross on their foreheads down to the fearless participants below. As you can imagine, it’s slightly unnerving and would be more so if the skin-full of red wine and cola, dancing & no sleep, hadn’t numbed the nerves a tad. It’s quite a sight to behold, if you can imagine a small version of the London Marathon, only with thousands of drunken Spaniards and tourists all dressed in white with red scarves. If you think it sounds like a death wish, it isn’t, because you do get to protect yourself with a rolled up newspaper! Yes that will protect your butt cheeks from the impending doom of a bulls horn. Not!

Your position in the crowd determines your initial safety during the first part of the run. If you’re right at the front you will most likely get into the arena before seeing a bull (as long as you stay on you feet). If you’re at the back the bulls will definitely pass you. So for your first time its best to go near the front until you get the gist of what’s going. We positioned are selves in the front 3rd.

The first gun is for everyone to start running. Running is a slight exaggeration as, if you do run, you will trip over the person in front of you. So you barely make a slow trot along with the rest of crowd. Then moments later the second gun sounds. The bulls are free and running, at full pelt I expect.

The course is 3/4 mile in total and goes from being totally surrounded by buildings with nowhere to escape, to open sections, which have been marked out by wooden barriers sunken into the ground. These are also pretty hard to escape over, as there are teams of spectators peering over and waiting to push the frantic and afraid back into the affray.

Chaos is about the best term to describe the run and that was without even seeing a bull on the course. You then run through the entrance to the arena, which is a concrete corridor about 50 feet long. This is the most dangerous spot and one you definitely don’t want to get involved in a pile up here. Once through the entrance you run into the arena, a great way to see it for the first time and for the Life of Brian fans amongst you, a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to live out the gladiator scene for real. The bulls eventually appear, bringing you back to reality and run straight through the crowd into an enclosure at the back of the arena. Next “they” (the crazy perpetrators of the event who are obviously hell bent on killing or at least maiming the odd participant) let smaller, more energetic bulls out, one at-a-time, to cause some mayhem. These bulls have leather protectors on their horns to protect the crowd at least, meaning that if you do get charged you won’t die, a slow and pain full death, but you might get thrown into the air a few feet and land on your head! The hard bit about this is that there are a thousand other people in the bull ring, which makes spotting the bulls very difficult. Suddenly the crowd in front of you parts to reveal a crazed bull running directly at you at full pelt, head down and closing fast. My natural instinct was to run and throw myself head first over the 6 foot high barrier. In a normal situation this would be seen as a reckless and dangerous stunt but considering the circumstances I felt it was a carefully considered life saving maneuver and one that meant I survived with everything but my pride intact!

Once everyone has got used to the smaller bulls, they let the, now rested, larger bulls out into the crowd, to shake things up-a-bit. This is obviously much more dangerous, as you can imagine, what could happen if one of these steps on your head. Luckily during our run there were no serious injuries (I think), but they do have severe injuries all the time, so don’t take this past-time too lightly. The year that I ran an American chap aged 22 died and became one of the 15 death since 1924. In fact everyday they post pictures of that day’s run for the participants to buy. Also all around the town there are pictures from the past, with some pretty sobering images of accidents that have happened. I suppose this is done to remind the runners that the worst thing that can happen is death! A pretty extreme sport all-in-all!

The World’s Most Extreme Waves

“Waves are not measured in feet and inches, they are measured in increments of fear” – Buzzy Trent

Surfers measure waves from the back so if the biggest wave of the day was 30 feet according to their measurements you will find that to the watchers on the other side of the wave, a surfer could be riding a wave that is sixty feet tall, the height of a six-story building.

AUSTRALIA

CYCLOPS, Western Australia

This is mainland Australia’s heaviest wave. It is rarely surfed by tow-in and surfers tend to favour bodyboards as it breaks onto shallow rocks. It is a righthand wave which breaks on a coral reef. It is hollow, fast and powerful and ranks very highly in the ratings – “totally epic” is how I’ve heard it described!

SHIPSTERN’S BLUFF, Tasmania

Shipstern’s Bluff is a fast deep water extremely powerful reef break near Tasmania, South Australia which breaks onto huge boulers in freezing waters! It is an amazing wave if you can get there as it’s hard to find and you have about an hour and a half walk-in. Because of this and the cold water, menacing size and sharp reef there is never a crowd there. It is a right hand wave which is best at low tide. The best season is winter and the hazards are rocks and sharks! It is a wave for advanced surfers only.

UNITED KINGDOM

Cribbar

The wave is named after rocks on the western edge of Towan Head and works when a low spring tide combines with a south-east wind within the Cribbar, a shallow reef off Fistral Beach. With 30-foot waves that are definitely not for the inexperienced, it is more similar to surf off Hawaii than North Cornwall. Surfers are towed by Jet Ski into the monster wave.

Only a few surfers actually dare ride the wave when it appears. According to local legend, three Australians first rode the highly dangerous wave in 1966. Looking more like a suicidal situation, only four surfers were brave enough to surf the Cribbar this year. Among them were three people from the UK and one South African.

The wave is a dream for surfers. Modern technology such as weather track systems and meteorological data allow surfers to make sure they do not miss the opportunity. “It’s a big thing in a surfer’s life. They make sure that they are fit and healthy for this moment so they can’t miss it when it comes,” says Tom Oliver, a spectator from the car park at Fistral Beach.

Local surfer Lee Hallam, 28, says ‘I have watched a few people try and surf it unsuccessfully. I have only recently seen one person who actually surfed it- a travelling South African, big wave surfer Chris Bertish. It is very powerful and if you make a mistake it could have disastrous consequences!’

The Cribbar is for the highly skilled, and otherwise should be left alone.

TAHITI

Teahupoo

The best big wave riders will chase this Antarctic swell which steams towards south west Tahiti and the reef at Teahupoo, home to some of the most spectacular and dangerous waves ever faced by surfers. This wave is generated by open ocean swells hitting the coral atoll reef with Hawaiian type power. It is probably the heaviest wave in the world and it is certainly the thickest. It is a wave that has claimed lives and brought the great Laird Hamilton close to tears after an incredible ride.

SOUTH AFRICA

Dungeons, Hout Bay

Dungeons combines an offshore rock reef with cold water, white sharks and massive swells which definitely puts it right up there with the world’s other most dangerous waves. Hout Bay, also known as “Dungeons” to the surfing community, is one of the sixteen recognised big wave spots around the globe. The annual Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition is held here. Swells of up to 47 feet have been recorded as well as numerous deaths as a result of shark attacks and surfing related incidents. The spot consists of various reefs. The most popular is called “2.5 “since it is 2.5 m deep. Behind it is “3.5”, which is 3.5 m deep. There is also a reef that is reputed to be able to hold a 100 ft high wave, should one ever come. Before the use of jetskis or charter boat (which is a 20-minute boat trip out) to enter and leave the area, the surfers who braved these waters had to paddle through a dark and deep channel, through to where the waves break.

FRANCE

Belharra

One doesn’t really expect to find a big wave in Europe, but this one can hold its own with the best of them. Belharra is an outer reef situated 2km outside Saint Jean de Luz in the French Basque region. You need a boat or jetski to go there.

The Most Popular on the Market

Red Bull energy drink is the “big kahuna” of energy drinks. It wasn’t the first ever created (that honor goes to Jolt Cola back in the early 80’s) but it did kick-start this new booming market of energy-inducing beverages.

Red Bull blasted onto the scene in 1997 and essentially created the energy drink market in the United States. Energy drinks made over $275 million in wholesale revenues with 65% going to Red Bull. The owners of the privately held company won’t talk about its financial revenue, but annual sales are rumored to be over $1 billion worldwide. Like I said, they’re the “big kahuna” of energy drinks.

Who created Red Bull and why did they make it taste so strange? Well, the creator is Dietrich Mateschitz. Back in the 80’s, while traveling in Asia, Mateschitz came across a syrupy beverage and discovered that its main ingredient was taurine, an amino acid which is produced naturally in human and animal bile. After meticulous analysis and experimentation, he finally developed the unique beverage that we all know as Red Bull.

The taste is, shall we say, distinctive. When I first tried Red Bull, I thought I was drinking carbonated cough syrup. Others have said it tastes like liquid Sweet Tarts. Regardless of what you can compare it to, the fact is, it takes some getting used to. But let’s be honest, you don’t drink it for the flavor, you drink it for the buzz(i.e. energy). Red Bull’s slogan claims “it gives you wings”. If you drink enough of it, you’ll feel as though you have wings; I know from experience.

I believe a big reason Red Bull has such popularity is because of the mystery and potential dangers associated with it. College kids, clubbers, and extreme sports enthusiasts dominate the energy drink market and we all know most people in these demographics love the thrill of danger. Red Bull panders to that emotion unabashedly. Why else would they explicitly state–do not exceed 3 cans a day.

There are many imitators of Red Bull currently on the market. But at the end of the day, there is only one Red Bull energy drink.

The BMX and Motocross Pyramid Challenge

The future of extreme BMX and Motocross Pyramid Challenges considered. Over the course of my studies into human sports, extreme sports, and adrenal rushes I’ve come up with many potential scenarios for new extreme sporting death defying feats which would wow crowds, and cause a cheer of thunder throughout any pavilion or stadium. Man and machine versus the impossible dream jump is what I’m talking about.

Now then, let me explain my latest scheme, one which will one day be performed and is sure to make headlines on ESPN, or draw in sponsors such as Red Bull to host. I’ve decided to call this the BMX or Free Style Motocross Challenge. Here is how it will work, but first let me help you visualize what I am talking about by jogging your memory a little bit. Do you remember seeing the motorcycle ramps which send the bike and rider straight up in the air.

Generally these are used so the rider can do multiple back flips and then land on the other side of the same ramp going basically straight down. The ramps are set up like hyperbolic curves back to back, kind of like the stock market and economy prior to the global economic crash of 2008. Okay, you get the picture right? Well, now picture a pyramid scheme, four-sided with each side with hyperbolic curved ramps.

Now picture many of these peaks with four sides, so as soon as the rider goes up one and comes back down he/she or “it” can choose another to take (“it” being an Artificially Intelligent motocross robotic android – don’t worry I’ll leave that for another article).

Every other four-sided pyramid ramp will be diagonal at that base, so as the ride comes all the way back down to the flat, he’ll have to slightly turn at an angle to plot the correct trajectory to the next vertical launching point, in his/her/it aerial dance for the crowd. Are you beginning to see why this will become the ultimate in extreme sports, after all one screw up and you are done for, again to the roar of the crowds, and the next viral YouTube video, where the rider with all his/her broken bones can watch from their iPad 4G tablet in the hospital.

Okay too dramatic for you? Too dangerous, yes, indeed, it is, but realize extreme sports of this type are not for the weak, we don’t have to do it, we can watch from the stands and our large screen 3D holographic living room entertainment centers. Please consider all this.

An Interview With Sauber Red Bull Racing’s Brook Johnston

As many of us grow up wanting to be champions throughout life, we can only wonder what it may take to get there. Being raised as an avid race fan growing up, I found myself thinking what it must be like to be a championship race car driver. What kind of life style does this require? How emotional and physical is the sport to the human body? Most importantly, how do you become a champion? Thanks to a wonderful opportunity given to me by Team Sauber Red Bull Racing of the Formula BMW International series, I was able to interview young American racing prodigy Brook Johnston from Laguna Beach, California. Johnston has continued his career in the sport by battling through much success including two International Karting Federation Championships, a World Karting Association Championship, a strong second place season finish with Team Ferrari of North America in the GT class, and a current championship lead in the Formula BMW International series. Running on much more than just pure adrenaline, I interviewed the twenty year old racing driver on his continued success in auto racing.

Tom Dorris: So Brook, I would firstly like to ask you about your experience growing up in Southern California. Can you tell me a little bit about what growing up in Southern California was like for you and tell me a little bit about your motivation in sports as a kid?

Brook Johnston: Um well I would definitely have to say that growing up in Southern California was awesome. I was very lucky to grow up where I did and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was pretty into the beach, sports and cars growing up and have continued to pretty much like all those things ever since.

Tom Dorris: Tell me a little bit about your involvement in those sports and why you picked and enjoyed the activities you participated in?

Brook Johnston: Well lets see… I was really into the normal beach stuff like skating and surfing. But I also started playing soccer and baseball when I was really little. I started racing karts when I was like 12 and got hooked on it ever since. I also ran cross country and track in high school, while I continued to race karts and branch out in racing.

Tom Dorris: What was your spark and enthusiasm like when you first started racing? Did you know right from the start that you would end up being a professional and engage more deeply into the sport?

Brook Johnston: Actually I wasn’t even sure at all. (he laughs). I just thought it was fun and addicting. I just loved to go fast and was always so competitive in everything that I wanted to win more than anybody else did. I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I got my first few sponsors and won my first IKF championship.

Tom Dorris: Brook, so tell me, how did you achieve your first two karting championships and what in your mind made you a winner when you started in the sport?

Brook Johnston: Well my first two karting championships were no breeze and there was so much tough competition at the time. I remember being in Stars of Tomorrow races in Las Vegas karting against guys like Marco Andretti and Alex Barron. But I think that my success and wins have to be attributed to my extremely strong headed and fearless personality. (he laughs). I would take corners faster than everybody else just because I wasn’t really afraid of anything. You can’t be afraid in this sport and you really have to want to win if you want to make it to the top.

Tom Dorris: So describe to me how exactly you made it to the top and the path you took to get here?

Brook Johnston: Basically lots of practice and coming to the tracks everyday. After karting I got involved in teaching a driving school for celebrities for a little while. Then I was asked to compete for a half season in a Barber Dodge Pro car and then went to the American Le Mans Style class with Ferrari of North America. It was a busy first couple of years starting out and when I was asked to be apart of the Formula BMW International program I was so stoked. I just have to say that it takes a lot of desire and hard work to reach the high goals that I have.

Tom Dorris: Not to go off on the beaten path here Brook, but I understand you are currently enrolled in College up in Northern California and manage your racing career at the same time? How does that play out for you?

Brook Johnston: Oh man… its pretty tough! (he sighs) Yeah I have been attending UC Santa Cruz and just been loving it. I’ve always wanted to get my college degree and have had so many other interests in life. I love racing and have been continuing on with my career, but I would like to think that I might be able to mellow down into another interest that involves me getting my degree. Right now that interest is in architecture, but who knows it could change. I just like to stay busy and keep my goals high.

Tom Dorris: So while you balance your high intensity career and schooling, do you find yourself having any free time or fun with any other interests? I take it you are currently residing in Santa Cruz then?

Brook Johnston: Yeah I am actually living in a small beach town called Capitola. I love it there its pretty cool. Um… well I don’t really have too much free time on my hands but I will say that I have some great friends who support me, an amazing girlfriend and my family. But when I do have some time I just like to hang out with everyone and relax at the beach.

Tom Dorris: I find that amazing that you can balance all aspects of your life to fit in perfectly. So would you say that these balances and goals since going to college in Santa Cruz have helped your current career in the Formula BMW International series?

Brook Johnston: Well I like to think they do. I think I just have a lot of pressure and stress taken off of me by living in Santa Cruz. It is a major pain though when I have to fly out for a weekend to attend a practice or race, and then come back to turn in a homework assignment or something. But I kind of put myself into that position and I plan on graduating next year.

Tom Dorris: Great! Well what can you say thus far about the Formula BMW International series and the team at Sauber Red Bull Racing? Tell me a little bit about your accomplishments so far this season with Sauber Red Bull Racing.

Brook Johnston: I have to say Im pretty darn stoked to be here and be in the position that Im in. Although this series is in it’s first year and hasn’t had much public attention quite yet, It’s been an awesome experience and just the whole program has been great. Traveling to world famous F1 tracks and racing on them has been so neat to do. When Mark and Red Bull first came to me and asked me to drive for their team I was so stoked. Sauber Red Bull has been so great to me this season and I really have to thank them for such a perfect opportunity. Im currently in first place in the championship thanks to a great team and sponsors, and have won two races so far. My goal is to bring home a championship for Sauber Red Bull and to help promote American open wheel racing internationally.

Tom Dorris: I have heard that you’ve endured much tension regarding your American background throughout the series. Is this true? Also there is speculation that you might be testing for a Formula One team next season. Is that a possibility for you?

Brook Johnston: Yes the series is very competitive regarding each driver’s home country. Our team is entirely American based and a lot of the fans and public seem to criticize the American F1 movement. Its not the greatest thing you want to hear as a driver, but we do have a very large fan base and much support compared to most teams in the series. It actually kind of fuels me to work harder and show everyone that an American can do it.

Tom Dorris: Are truly being considered for testing for next season by Formula One? And if so then by which team?

Brook Johnston: Let’s just say that I’m just trying to focus on my season here (Formula BMW International). I’m not too sure about my future quite yet but I have a lot of things to think about.

Red Bull Founder and Marketing Master

Since its founding in 1984 by an Austrian entrepreneur named Dietrich Mateschitz, along with his partner Chaleo Yoovihya, Red Bull has become a dominant force in today’s network of global commerce. They have become a brand that is as far reaching as it is dynamic; a premium product, a powerful force of entertainment, and use of effective marketing have all allowed Red Bull to become the wildly popular brand that it is today. Marketing lessons from Red Bull are numerous; this article will introduce and analyze some of these lessons.

One of the main ways that Red Bull has become such a marketing phenomenon is by sponsoring, and thereby associating themselves, with a wide range of extreme sports events and other spectator entertainment outlets. In this way they’ve been able to literally integrate themselves, as a brand, into the very fabric of a certain number of different spectator/extreme/action sports. Fundamentally, this is one of the most important marketing lessons from Red Bull; if you can manage to make consumers automatically associate your brand with a certain mainstay of their entertainment preferences, then you will have created a consumer-product bond that is far stronger than more typical or simpler forms of brand loyalty. Some of the sports and events that Red Bull has sponsored and associated with include:

  1. Red Bull Stratos:

Red Bull Stratos was a project whose mission was to send a man floating up into the atmosphere attached to a helium balloon, before allowing him to plummet back down to earth. The man who actually carried out this feat was an Austrian skydiver named Felix Baumgartner; on October 14th, 2012, this brave soul was elevated to 127,851 feet above the earth and then allowed to free-fall out of his capsule. Felix Baumgartner became the first human being to ever break the sound barrier on descent without an engine to power them or a specialized craft to encapsulate them as they fell. The successful mission launched out of Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, New Mexico, and was also referred to by some during its conception as the “mission to the edge of space.”

This project was a prime example of Red Bull’s marketing genius; by associating their brand with this incredible feat of human bravery, potential, and spectacle, they were able to create a massive promotional event out of this whole project. People all over the world are aware of this event because of how incredibly daring it was, and because of how sophisticated and impressive the engineering behind the technology was. It was such an impressive embodiment of human capability and possibility, that its hard to believe at the end of the day it was basically a giant endorsement of Red Bull and all of the amazing things that it is capable of doing for its consumer.

  1. Red Bull Crashed Ice:

“Crashed Ice” is a Red Bull sponsored world tour featuring the winter extreme sport known as downhill ice cross. It is a downhill ice skating sport that uses giant courses that have dauntingly steep vertical drops as well as difficult turns that must be negotiated by some of the world’s foremost ice skating athletes (typically amateur and professional ice hockey players). These courses are technically advanced, featuring state-of-the-art freezing systems that circulate an extremely cold chemical solution through piping beneath the track. In this way, the track’s designers and builders are able to freeze water at a uniform thickness even on very steep sections of the course.

“Crashed Ice” is a great example of the way this company sponsors only the most fun to watch and extreme events, so that its brand recognition and validity stay high. This event is such an incredible sight to see because of the intense speeds, and high risk of navigating down one of these dangerous tracks, and it is for these reasons that Red Bull would seek to use this event for a promotional capacity.

  1. Red Bull Air Race World Championship:

The first official annual season of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship debuted in 2003, and has occurred every year since. This wildly popular event features airplane pilots from around the world, all competing for the title of World Champion race pilot. These fearless pilots use high-grade performance aerobatic airplanes, some of which include the MXS-R, the Corvus Racer 540, and the Zivko Edge 540. These high-tech planes can travel at top speeds of about 260 mph, and all of them have a wingspan of less than 25 feet across. During a racing trial, an individual racer will navigate their way through an airborn course of pylons (vertical columns that determine the path a racer must follow), in an attempt to achieve the fastest time possible.

The Red Bull Air Race may be the most important component of this company’s extreme sports marketing campaign, due to the fact that this Air Race World Championship is an annual event, and so it is a continuously functioning marketing tool that Red Bull can depend on for years to come. This event has gained so much notoriety internationally, due in large part to the fact that it airs on television in many parts of the world. This gives the Air Race World Championship a huge advantage in terms of its ability to actually generate hype for the product, and demand for it as well.

In addition to the huge amount of money and resources this company invests in this kind of extreme sports marketing, they also invest in their more mainstream advertising as well. They are responsible for one of the most memorable ad-campaigns of recent times; the “Red Bull gives you wings” ad slogan. With this combination of effective mainstream advertising along with more niche oriented marketing, Red Bull has transformed itself into more than just a brand. It has become a corporate powerhouse, with interests that over the years have become far broader than the relatively simple energy drink which started their whole rise to success. Marketing lessons from this company are many in their numbers, and highly substantive with regard to what they can teach advertising professionals and businesses about being truly effective when it comes to creating an image for their brand.

Sauber Red Bull’s Confidence Trickster Brook Johnston

A young Ernest Hemingway couldn’t have put it best when he said he was “fraid o’ nothin.” The 20 year old American Brook Johnston can probably express similar sentiments. Team Sauber Red Bull Racing’s newest addition has not only wowed the likes of the Albert II in Monaco, but has begun to turn the public face from hysteria to utter seriousness. The Sauber Red Bull driver has completely ravaged the streets of Monaco with a tremendous win and has recently taken the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring pushing him ahead six points further into the championship lead.

Now we can say that everything wasn’t peachy for the so called “American racing prodigy,” of which he has begun to be called. Just a few weeks ago the American’s luck began to turn sour as the Sauber Red Bull F2008 BMW chassis spun off the track at Monza’s turn four, turning mere prowess into severity. Spending a total of three days in the Milan’s Azienda Ospedaliera Ospitale Nigurada Ca’ Granda hospital, Johnston endured critical bone fractures to his arms and rib cage as well as undergoing serious head trauma from the accident. At a speed of over 130 miles per hour, silence began to fall upon the American driver’s faded championship hopes. Two weeks later, the Formula BMW International series was in complete awe as Johnston returned to Nurburg, Germany and hoped back into the car without any hesitation. ” I’ve gotten this far why stop now,” Johnston says. ” This is my passion. If you can’t step back into the race car after an accident like that, then your probably in the wrong sport.” With that kind of confidence and pride, it’s no wonder the young American took the win at the German Grand Prix last Sunday. I can definitely say I have never seen fire in the wits of a drivers eyes like that before.

With that, I think you get the feeling that Brook isn’t the sort of guy who sits there waiting for his turn. Brook likes to go after it! Talking to him isn’t a particularly easy task as well. The Sauber Red Bull driver prefers that he sticks to what he knows. Racing! Even obtaining a simple interview with him was a very difficult chore in itself, constantly turned down by Sauber Red Bull Racing’s public relations. Noticing his avid racing background and very minimal publicity, I might say that Sauber Red Bull has themselves one of the best public relations committees i’ve ever seen. And to think they would keep a young man with this much talent under-wraps and out of the scene. Well not exactly! With much luck and constant boasting, myself and Racer Magazine managed to get a few words in with the championship driver and confidence trickster himself.

Up close and personal, we thought we were talking to the wrong guy! I mean, here he is, the championship leading driver that we have longed to interview, sitting directly in front of us with his trendy Red Bull hat backwards and his stylish sunglasses glaring at us. We were half expecting an over confident attitude and a Hugo Boss suit. What made us think that? Besides the hours upon hours of phone calls into Sauber Red Bull Racing and nature of going about to get this interview, I must say we were completely wrong. Johnston was the type of guy that was extremely down to earth and was probably one of the best driver interviewees I’ve ever had. His calm, bright and very collective personality brought out the Michael Schumacher type of charm inside this young man. After knowing this, we wanted to start off the conversation with a much more interesting subject. We asked the young Sauber Red Bull driver about his clothing and stylish appearance. With a huge smile he laughed right back at us and said, ” Well if you call this trendy then I guess Im on the right track then hugh.” Bravo, indeed you are Brook!

While he has been racing here on the European tour, his growth and support for his himself and the team have been enormous. I mean this was a guy who started as a great driver but relatively unknown, and has been turned into a superstar and ESPN Extreme Athlete of 2008 award winner. What can he say about these achievements? ” Yeah I think I was just as surprised as anybody to be honored with that award. Im just a regular guy who loves to race cars.” I think regular is hardly the word to describe him. More like Superman in a driving suit! After all, Johnston’s nickname is “Tiger.” However, his very real nature and cheerful tone have put this extraordinary young man as the favorite among the Formula BMW International series crowd and has even put him into consideration for much larger forms of auto racing. ” Yes, I will be testing for the Torro Rosso program in August and it has been a wonderful ride to get to this point. I’ve wanted to get to Formula One since I was about 5 years old. I would be stoked (excited) to reach that level and compete.” Could this be America’s next Formula One star? Well I hope so! Red Bull Torro Rosso’s team has announced several names for their program for the 2009 season, yet it will not be clear until late August as to whom makes the cut.

Well as many of us have wanted to know, what do you think the Formula BMW International series represents for you now going into something as prestigious as Formula One? What does it mean to get to that playing field? ” The International series has been one of the greatest experiences ever for me. What could be better than traveling to world famous tracks and getting to race on them. Our series is known to be a huge stepping stone to Formula One, but I think we all know F1 is on a completely different level in comparison to anything. It will take some adjusting for me, but I will just have to get out there and show them what I got.” Confidence indeed, the wise words of a championship leading driver! Johnston’s presence in the series has formulated some 45,000 participants or so throughout the European crowds, while he battles his way towards the top mark.

So focused and so adept to his participation on the track, what is Brook like off the track? Sauber Red Bull Racing has concentrated the young drivers efforts towards public events of charitable presence and to bring forth a rise in the youth involvement in motorsports. ” Yeah we (Sauber Red Bull Racing) just went to the Jugendlich Partei in Berlin which was a ton of fun and supported Germany’s Teen Cancer Foundation. I felt great to make those kids smile and see them having fun. I think I made a difference to them and that’s what’s important.” With a heart of gold and smile on his face, Johnston helped out in charitable presence at Berlin’s premier teen dance event with over 3,000 teenagers in attendance and guest appearance by country pop singer Taylor Swift, actor David Hasselhoff, and Championship Formula One driver Michael Schumacher. Johnston not only made just an appearance at the event, but we asked him if there was anything special he contributed to that night. He laughs, ” Well, everyone’s (VIPS) names were entered in a hat and picked at random to be in a dance contest against each other. I had to go against Taylor. Of course she won! (He chuckles) She is a much better dancer than I am, but what do you expect. I was just glad to be involved.” Johnston’s laughter and smile at the question only made us pry even deeper. So we asked, what do you think about being on stage with Taylor Swift? With a calm and collective face Brook replied, ” Yeah it was great, she is a very sweet girl and was a ton of fun to talk to. I think we were both having fun and happy to help support the foundation.” Well not exactly the Romeo and Juliet answer we were looking for, but the couple did look a little too good together on stage. Or so we thought at least! Johnston has been known to catch the younger girls eyes, as he has done several interviews for young rising star and teenage magazines. ” I am just glad to help out and spread my confidence to other teens whether it be in auto racing or any other sport.” So modest! Well, we can’t say that he was going to give us the mushy gushy answers we always hope for, but the smart and talented Johnston does have a very activity based personal life and enjoys the beach environment. Long walks on the sand ladies?

Well surely everyone was interested in his outside life, but what about his driving style and how he performs the way he does on the track? Who is Brook’s favorite driver of all time? Non other than legend and seven time championship winning Formula One driver Michael Schumacher. Now we know where he gets that smile and charm. ” I would say that Schumi has been a big inspiration to me on and off the track. I used to watch him with my dad growing up and when I finally saw him race in Indianapolis I knew he was unbeatable. And thats what I aspire to be.” So does Johnston race like Schumacher on the track? He laughs, ” Not exactly, I try to be my own person and I like my own style of racing. Schumi is amazing, but he has merely been my influence in racing. My talent lies in my fearlessness. You can’t be fearful or else you will never push the car to the edge and that’s what it takes to be a winner.” Brook Johnston’s confidence is right among those of Ernest Hemingway and the great Michael Schumacher. He will be racing in Brasil’s Rio de Janeiro region for Round 8 of the Formula BMW International series next, and will be heading to several events and charities over his bye week period over the coming week. With great talent and motive, the young American is doing it his way and will be followed as a ro-model to many throughout auto racing.