Yesturday didn’t happen the way people around the world, RedBull and jumper Flex Bamgartner perhaps hoped, but RedBull stepped up to push the envelop of human travel and plant a seed of excitement of what is possible for people, and private companies.
Red Bull Stratos, a mission to the edge of space, will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years. Supported by a team of experts Felix Baumgartner plans to ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a freefall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground. His attempt to dare atmospheric limits holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers.
The Red Bull Stratos team brings together the world’s leading minds in aerospace medicine, engineering, pressure suit development, capsule creation and balloon fabrication. It includes retired United States Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who holds three of the records Felix will strive to break.
Joe’s record jump from 102,800 ft in 1960 was during a time when no one knew if a human could survive a jump from the edge of space. Joe was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and had already taken a balloon to 97,000 feet in Project ManHigh and survived a mishap during a jump from 76,400 feet in Excelsior I.
Now if that is not exciting, think about the fact this is funded, backed and support privately by an energy drink company. Not government, or well funded groups like Nasa. RedBull like many of its competitors most notable Monster, have not only been supporting new ideas but the ones pushing them over the last decade and in doing so opening doors learning and pushing new sports to the fore front of main stream. Motocross, along with many core sports and including Sky diving have been the benfactors of this marketing. Motocross, one of the world longest oldest extreme sports has seen live television, a influx in teams, riders and new series opportunities thanks to drink money.
Next weeks Monster Energy Cup is another great example of a sports events, that wouldn’t exist with out the support of a forward thinking drink company.
The MEC cup is a unique format event. A stand alone event that has unique optional lanes spits built into the track, a split start, Amateur showcase, hours of live TV, and of course the 1 million dollar prize. It is a completely unique idea spearheaded by the title sponsors, Monster Energy. Who benefits besides the millions of people around the world that will be watching our sport for the first time, you and I as core fans. Remember the days of weeks of delayed TV and months of off season… now replaced by live TV, an exciting brand of racing and opportunity for kids who race in our sport.
The fact that this year Monster Energy Cup has secured the all the top riders, including RedBull atheletes Ryan Dungey and James Stewart along with Chad Reed (who laughed the event off in 2011) gives a nod to the importance and strength that promoting and support of a Monster Energy. The Monster Energy Cup has secured the best riders in the world on the branding and positioning of the event by Monster Energy itself.
While I type this Felix Baumgartner is sitting in the desert in Nevada, waiting on the wind to calm so his helium ballon (that is larger than the statue of liberty) can be filled, we can skip through tweets and videos of red Bull athletes wishing him luck, including motocross legend Travis Pastrana. It is reach our sport has enjoyed, and a wave has carried all of us further then it seem possible. A wave that we should all be thankful for. Good luck to Baumgartner and his historical jump and good luck to those riders racing for a million dollars next week in Vegas.