Red Bull Gives an Action Sports Star Wings
Was that a bird, a plane or Superman flying through the air last New Year’s Eve in Santa Monica, CA? Not quite. It was action sports star Travis Pastrana at the wheel of a rally car trying for the world record for the longest distance jump, the latest installment in Red Bull’s New Year, No Limits campaign.
Before the clock struck midnight on the East Coast on Dec. 31, Pastrana attempted to accomplish the first ever ramp-to-ramp car jump over water, a feat that tested the laws of physics and helped Red Bull connect with spectators across the nation via TV, and the digital world via Facebook. With the Queen Mary docked in the background, Pastrana jumped his rally car off the Pine Street Pier onto a floating barge anchored in Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor, shattering the existing mark of 171 feet and establishing a new world distance record live on ESPN.
Nine teaser videos released twice a week on redbullnewyearnolimits.com leading up to the event generated buzz and built the story behind Pastrana. Strategic partnerships also revved up excitement. ESPN broadcast the live show to three million viewers. Subaru placed event content on its website, on wrapped cars and on collateral across regional Los Angeles and Orange County dealerships. DC Shoes created a limited-edition t-shirt sold on-site and on DC’s Red Bull: New Year. No Limits online store. It also placed window banners in all DC Shoes stores across the country. More than 200 fans showed up for an in-store autograph signing with Pastrana at DC Shoes Hollywood two days before the event, which also displayed a rally car replica in the lobby. Bartenders at Red Bull accounts on New Year’s Eve wore custom DC Shoes and Red Bull: New Year. No Limits t-shirts, raising awareness and generating word of mouth.
Before the ESPN Live broadcast of the event, a Facebook promotion called The Red Bull Live Show was broadcast live for online spectators, garnering 23,000 streams from fans who interacted with Red Bull athletes via Facebook chat during the show.
More than 75,000 spectators gathered by the waterfront watched the event live for free and also witnessed side acts by the Red Bull TNT Demo team and stunt bike rider Aaron Colton. The TV broadcast reached 10.3 million people, while redbullusa.com achieved 80,000-plus visits. The jump was YouTube’s No. 1 video by Jan. 8 at 3.35 million views. And Pastrana? After shattering the world record he went home feeling pretty red-bullish himself.