How Red Bull Gave Monster Horns @ The Billabong Pro 2011!

There was something that seemed to catch my eye on Friday, and, no it actually had nothing at all to do with surfing or belters. In fact, it has to do with something entirely different, which may have been overlooked by many a 'naked' eye. Red Bull ambushes Monster Energy sponsorship platform...

I woke up on Friday anticipating a Billabong Pro final that consisted of pretty much anyone, up against Jordy Smith. The lad is twice my size, yet almost 2 years younger than me… Mind you some 12 year old kids are twice my size, so that is not really a valid ball park estimate :p Jords, at the tender age of 23 has already all but conquered the surfing world! J-Bay being one of his favourite breaks, and, to win the Wimbledon of surfing there 2 years running is almost unheard of! By the way this feat has only ever been achieved once before, so it is no joke just how far ahead of the field this cat is!

Mick sprays Jordy as he wins his second Pro in 2 years!

But… There was something else that seemed to catch my eye on Friday, and, no it actually had nothing at all to do with surfing or belters. In fact, it has to do with something entirely different, which may have been overlooked by many a ‘naked’ eye. It has to do with sponsorship, surfers, brands, loyalty and where they draw the line between personal and event sponsorships! Monster Energy has been making big waves in the Cape Town scene with their in your face branding techniques, over sized cans, bold neon logo and varietal product range! Monster has clearly attacked Red Bull head on, moving directly into sampling, sponsorship, events and nightlife. A field in which Red Bull are now surely extremely knowledgeable?

The brands compete on all levels from sponsorship to sales!

Monster Energy was one of the main sponsors at this years Billabong Pro in J-Bay, being one of the newer brands on the list that backed this colossal event on the annual ASP surfing calendar! Other big brands including Carling Black label, Coca Cola, Vida e Caffe, Nixon & Von Zipper also helped make the event possible. From working in the beverage industry myself, I know the energy drink market in this country, along with beer, is one of the most difficult to penetrate! Here comes the part which caught my eye…

I was already finished with my post about Jordy winning the event, before the final actually even started. This was because I had so much confidence in his ability and form during the competition, that I knew there was no way he was going to lose! So, as Jordy and runner up Mick Fanning stepped up to the platform to receive their prizes, I immediately noticed something that was definitely going to cause some waves with the branding guys of the event, and, more so Monster Energy!!! Yip you guessed it. As the pair got onto stage on Live television, they both cracked open an ice cold Red Bull

Hmm, what is that in Jordy Smith's right hand?

How on earth the people representing Monster Energy at the event allowed this to happen is beside me? First of all as a main event sponsor, I am making sure that any competing products are not allowed NEAR the broadcasting area’s or tents? I completely understand that Jordy is Mr. Red Bull when it comes to surfing, but without people like Monster on board the event would never even be possible… Do not get me wrong, if I was sponsored by Red Bull I would probably do the same, but where does one draw the line between representing your brands/sponsors in a personal capacity and gorilla/ambush marketing techniques?

Now I wonder what brand that is chilling on the table? Red Bull wins again...

In this case I am going to have to point fingers at Monster Energy and say they never covered their bases properly. Although, Red Bull should know better than that and act in a more professional manner! But then again the beverage industry is a dog eat do world and even my associate brand Bavaria did a similar tactic during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  If I was running the show at the event, it is not even a question that Monster girls would be on stage during the prize giving with their brand and product visible to all the TV and live streaming viewers! Not to mention handing out product to the finalists, even if they do not drink it, the brand name, logo and design is constantly in the eye of the consumers. What are your thoughts about this grey area between personal and event sponsorship’s?

Funny I don't see Red Bull amongst the sponsors though :p

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14 Responses to “How Red Bull Gave Monster Horns @ The Billabong Pro 2011!” Subscribe

  1. Doc July 26, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Nicely spotted! Personal sponsorship seems to triumph event sponsorship in these situations… He has no obligations to the event sponsors since they aren’t (directly) paying him ..but as you said Monster should have made better use of the stage area to promote their brand – pretty shocking on their part

    • Mr. Cape Town July 26, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      Yip, shot Doc couldn’t agree more! Let me know when your footy site is up and running so I can do a write up. We are missing something like you are looking to bring to the SA football industry! All the stories are out there, but not the analysis of things which a lot of ppl do not even pay attention to!

  2. Wolf_Speaks July 26, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    all i can say is EISH!

  3. Seth July 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Classic… Like Doc said though, personal sponsorship triumphs over event sponsorships. If a Monster athlete wins a stage of Red Bull X – Fighters they are on the podium with Monster product… Same situation, different event… It happens everwhere in the extreme sports world

    • Mr. Cape Town July 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      Yip, awesome skurrel I must say 😉 Hope you well brother!

  4. Doc July 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Shot Dyls will be ready for the MTN8 Quarter-finals next Friday… will keep you posted!

    • Mr. Cape Town July 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Lekker! Looking forward to some intelligent writing Doc 😉

  5. Matt July 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Like that in every sport though surely? World cup sponsored by Adidas but all the players wearing Nike boots. Was in jbay and Monster was definitely everywhere the fans went – doubt they have control over the pro’s but couldve done more to show online viewers etc

    • Mr. Cape Town July 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

      Yeah for sure Monster did a great job in the event area…But the main views come from the prize giving, where only Red Bull was visible, not even any Monster branding? A bit different when it comes to football as that is equiptment you refer to, like wetsuits or boards…Not the drink they consume after the game 😉

  6. MartyCam July 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    You can also argue why Jordy is wearing an o’neil hat and Mick is where a Rip Curl hat at a Billabong event. Why is Mick wearing a non Nixon watch ?

    Good for Red Bull I say, and good for Jordy & Mick. how did the “monster” athletes do ?

    • Mr. Cape Town August 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Yeah I know it’s their personal sponsors, just thought Monster should have done more to cement their place and branding in the area which got probably the most online viewers! Thanks for the feedback and I agree, well done Red Bull 😉

  7. Martin(callme) August 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Hha gotta love it

  8. Andrew August 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    That’s a huge Epic Fail from Monsters side , they need to look after themselves and there product and branding more . If Red Bull can do this at the biggest Surfing event In Africa then they can boycott any other event that monster sponsors in the future. They need to Vuka leway seriously .

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