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Monday, March 05, 2007

Brave New Media: Red Bull Crashed Ice

In addition to sponsoring sports, athletes and teams like the Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, the Red Bull company has created new sports, ostensibly to sell more energy drinks. One of them--Crashed Ice--is a cross between hockey and snowboard, in which three racers at a time, dressed in hockey equipment, whip down what looks like a large bobsled run.

Crashed Ice was conceived almost 10 years ago when executives at Red Bull's Austrian headquarters heard a pitch for a new sport based on downhill in-line skating. "The next generation of sports fans are participatory in nature," says David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Carter of the Sports Business Institute.

Three weeks ago, 50 workers began constructing a 1,500-foot course past Old Quebec's historic architecture for a Crashed Ice event held Saturday that was expected to draw 50,000 people. One excited participant from Madison, N.J., 21-year-old Jamie McGrath, knew nothing about the sport before a friend saw it on television. "Our goal for the entire thing was to get a Red Bull jersey," McGrath says.

via MediaPost's Marketing Daily andNYT

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