SBJ/Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2011/Media

Red Bull starting own media company

Red Bull is launching its own North American media company that will specialize in producing and distributing content and TV shows that showcase the company’s robust roster of athletes and events.

The media company will be known as Red Bull Media House North America and will operate out of Red Bull’s offices in Santa Monica, Calif. It will be led by general manager Werner Brell; Scott Bradfield, director of moving images and content development; and Greg Jacobs, head of distribution, who was recently hired away from the NASCAR Media Group.

Bradfield and Jacobs said Red Bull Media House North America will produce and distribute action sports and lifestyle content for digital and linear networks throughout the U.S. The ultimate goal of the group is to significantly expand Red Bull’s presence on TV.

The energy drink company already has a track record of success in that area, producing the “Red Bull: New Year. No Limits” events for ESPN, “Project X” about Shaun White’s private halfpipe for NBC, and Red Bull X Fighters programming for Fuel TV.

Red Bull Media House executives now hope to generate new programs with more mainstream appeal such as reality TV shows around athletes. They hope to place that programming on networks they haven’t worked with in the past, which could include anyone from Versus to National Geographic.

If successful, Red Bull Media House North America will provide another stream of revenue for the energy drink company and further the company’s marketing and brand association with bold athletes and daring sports.
“We have access to athletes and cool events that other corporations don’t have the access to or authenticity with,” Jacobs said.

Bradfield added, “One of our calling cards is we’re an authentic brand in that [18- to 34-year-old] demographic. As we reach into new networks, we can bring that fan base along and help the networks grow in that demo.”

Red Bull Media House North America is an extension of an operation the company already established in Europe. The company developed the first Red Bull Media House in Austria in 2007, and today more than 400 employees work for it worldwide.

The North American operation will be the company’s first offshoot of the European group. It will have 60 employees, most of whom already work for Red Bull, and Bradfield said he expects the organization to expand over the next 18 months.

“If you want to be successful in this [media] world, you have to be successful in the U.S.,” Jacobs said. “That’s what we plan to do.”

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