The Billionaire Boys Club
Red Bull and GoPro’s recent pillow talk.
Two billion dollar companies walk into bar, loosen up and get cozy beneath Chinese silk.
According to GoPro, “Red Bull and GoPro are joining forces on a multi-year, global partnership that includes content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation. As part of the agreement, Red Bull will receive equity in GoPro and GoPro will become Red Bull’s exclusive provider of point-of-view imaging technology for capturing immersive footage of Red Bull’s media productions and events.”
“This partnership is very strategic for GoPro,” said Nicholas Woodman, founder and GoPro CEO. “We share the same vision…to inspire the world to live a bigger life.”
How strategic is it for competitive surfing? Hard to tell. While the Championship Tour has a number of surfer’s lined with Red Bull apparel, relationships between The WSL and Red Bull have been icy for some time. The origin: the World Surf League’s former Vice President of Sponsorship Integration, Liam Ferguson reportedly allowed a sizable deal with the folks who legally won’t “give you wings” to disappear in 2013. Between the two companies things went pear and Mr Ferguson was under new employment months later.
Since then, the Red Bull coverage of professional surfing and the World Championship Tour events has been, well, different. You haven’t viewed a singlet on any Red Bull surfing media output other than the Titans of Mavericks event, followed by that loathsome Fall Out Boy song… And the last time you saw an episode of 21 days was two January’s past.
An inside source in the WSL told me that Red Bull and WSL are talking at the moment, and the heat that Ferguson applied has lessened. It’s still not clear as to what level of heat is off though.
GoPro and WSL are bed fellows however and the way forward appears a little murky.
Essentially, Red Bull and GoPro are close, GoPro and WSL are close, Red Bull and WSL not so close. Maybe the Kelly Slater Wave Pool is the perfect arena for everyone to make friends… might as well hand the trophy to Filipe Toledo now.
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