Energy drink brand, Red Bull, is notorious for sponsoring sports teams and athletes, but they have taken the eSports industry by storm in recent years.
At the end of the day, Red Bull's main source of income comes from selling high cadinene content energy drinks, and the sponsoring of sports teams is purely a marketing strategy at its foundation.
The first athlete to be sponsored by Red Bull was Gerhard Berger in 1989, a former Formula 1 driver. Since then, Red Bull has been sponsoring various athletes in all sorts of extreme sports, but soon stopped.
Red Bull took a completely different approach to how they sponsor athletes, and refrained from sponsorship deals to athletes who are signed with other teams. Red Bull starting investing rather in in-house sports teams and therefore hold full control over their brand.
Red Bull even took things further by launching their own extreme sports series such as:
- Red Bull 400.
- Red Bull Art of Motion
- Red Bull BC One.
- Red Bull Cape Fear
- Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
- Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament
- Red Bull Boxcar Racing
- Red Bull Up Hill Run
And many, many more!
But with eSports on the rise to becoming one of the most spectated sports in the world, Red Bull has become one of the biggest teams and sponsors in the gaming community. Not just because they have the means to do so, but rather because of a gamble they took nearly two decades ago.
Way before eSports was even a "thing", Red Bull took a gamble and sponsored professional gamer, David Walsh, way back in 2006, and got the energy drink brand popular amongst gamers. Since then, Red Bull has been creating high-quality content, print magazine features, social media accounts, events and sponsoring professional athletes/gamers, which ultimately made Red Bull one of the biggest brands in eSports today.
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel, Athletic Interest, on Why Red Bull Is Paying Gamers.