Red Bull's Brilliant Marketing Strategy

Last year, Red Bull sold 11.6 Billion cans of its signature energy drink, almost 1.5x the earth's population, and earned a revenue of over $10 Billion. How can an energy drink earn that much money in a year?

More than a Drink

The answer lies in their marketing strategy. Red Bull is not just a drink you see at supermarkets, it is a worldwide superbrand known for its prowess and presence in the sports industry. The Red Bull logo is on every piece of sporting equipment you can think of: from its 500 contracted athletes to its 5 professional soccer clubs, 1 professional hockey team, 2 Formula 1 teams, ski helmets, motorcycles, parachutes, dirt bikes, etc. Perhaps their most impressive feat to date was having Australian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jump from space in a rocket ship bearing the Red Bull logo. This endeavor cost them $50 million, but the global reporting of the event was expected to bring in $6 Billion.

Sponsoring these insane sporting feats such as the Cliff Diving World Series and the Red Bull Straight Rhythm Dirt Bike Contest while also maintaining its core product worldwide provides consumers with a unique experience to feel like they are part of a record-setting extreme sports organization every time they crack a can.

Money Matters

A key aspect of Red Bull's marketing strategy is their decision to outsource the production of their energy drink. This strategic move allows the company to allocate a significant portion of its financial resources and focus on marketing efforts rather than on manufacturing processes. Remarkably, Red Bull dedicates about one-third of its revenue to marketing activities, a substantial investment that underscores the importance of branding and promotion in their business model. This substantial allocation of funds towards marketing allows Red Bull to land these high-profile sponsorship deals, support various sporting events and athletes, and create unique advertising campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

You can even view Red Bull as a type of private equity firm within the sports business. They bought the New York Red Bulls FC in 2006 for $25 million, and it is now worth $290 million. The price for a soccer franchise in NYC will surely only soar as time passes.


Altogether, the reason Red Bull is able to generate so much revenue and public attention is greatly due to their marketing strategy and big-time deals with athletes which draw attention to their energy drink. An often overlooked strength of their business, however, is their authenticity and ability to make people feel that there are no limits to what they can do. It is in their slogan that "Red Bull Gives You Wings", and their commitment to extreme sports and their athletes who are normally underpaid showcases that. There is often no immediate, direct revenue to be generated from these contracts, but Red Bull believes in its mission to help people push their boundaries to an extent where it does not matter anyway. If you have ever seen a Red Bull YouTube video, watched one of their teams play, or watched one of their hosted sporting events, you will understand the psychological effect Red Bull has on athletes worldwide, and in turn, it generates revenue.