When Caffeine Met Adrenaline: Red Bull and GoPro

Arguably the two biggest names in lifestyle branding and content marketing are joining forces.

Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink company, is known for its high adrenaline promotions including sponsoring a Formula One racing team and its own stunt flying, air race championship.

Silicon valley-based action camera company GoPro has made a name for itself as the creator and curator of a wide world of first-person video experiences, usually from just the sort of the extreme events Red Bull is associated with, like urban downhill biking and deep-sea shark diving.

It’s a match made in high-octane heaven, and not the first time the two companies have synergized. In 2012, the Red Bull Stratos project outfitted Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner for a historic ‘spacedive,’ and GoPro provided the cameras to record the record jump from 24 miles straight up.

The partnership links the content production and distribution, and product innovation resources of the two companies. GoPro will be the exclusive provider of point-of-view imaging technology at over 1800 Red Bull events in over 100 countries. Red Bull is also taking an undisclosed equity stake in GoPro, which has already begun shoring up the tech company’s flagging stock price.

Dietrich Mateschitz, head of Red Bull, said he believes “the deal will amplify the collective international reach of both brands, as well as the power of their content and ability to fascinate.”

GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman was equally bullish about the prospect of combining forces: “It’s no secret we’ve been inspired by their marketing model since we founded GoPro 14 years ago. And to now be officially partnered—in the way we are—is a reflection of how strong that model is.”


Bigger Than Beverages

Red Bull may seem like just another soft drink maker, but they have carefully carved out a larger niche for themselves as a media company. Its in-house production arm, Red Bull Media House, has quietly become a go-to source for youthful, high energy content for a number of brands including Sony.

It has also made the channel it controls, Red Bull TV, a premiere distribution source for its content. GoPro has so far focused mostly on social media outlets, like its Youtube Channel, but this new partnership should see more of their content hosted by Red Bull.

Red Bull and GoPro are both transcending their core competencies and expanding into the rarified territory of full-blown lifestyle brands, i.e. brands that consumers seek out and enjoy not only for their products and services, but because they represent a part of their personal identity.

A lifestyle brand is an outlet for self-expression. The consumer chooses to wear Nike products not only because they are satisfied with the quality of the goods, but because they want to be associated with the values the brand represents like competition, striving, and achievement.

One of the key indicators of that brand has found success in lifestyle marketing is that it has move beyond its original product, for example: “Montblanc has repositioned itself from a functionally focused brand that manufactured high-end pens into a lifestyle brand spanning different categories that include leather goods, watches and sunglasses, in addition to its core pen business. In the same vein, Lacoste managed to broaden the appeal of its brand from being closely associated with tennis to representing a lifestyle of exclusivity and luxury.”

Another good sign that you are tapping into lifestyle branding is that consumers who don’t normally use your original product are starting to take a second look at it: ”Though the [Lululemon] sells yoga equipment and is most famous for its leggings or, as they call them, “yoga pants,” plenty of people who don’t practice yoga buy the products.”

Red Bull and GoPro could be a perfect pairing because they share similar goals and values: Red Bull says it’s mission is to support “’remarkable people’ in achieving their dreams,” and GoPro has made a name for itself capturing those remarkable events.

The two companies have already found tremendous success as lifestyle content marketers and this deal looks to send them even further into the stratosphere.