Queen's University

Red Bull sky dive—marketing genius or potential disaster: Queen's University expert

2012-10-15

Queen’s University marketing professor Ken Wong is available to talk about the Red Bull Stratos record-setting sky dive. Felix Baumgartner will attempt to become the world's first supersonic skydiver when he leaps from the edge of space (37 kilometres above the ground) on Sunday or Monday.

Professor Wong feels Red Bull has done a great job building a strong brand image and the jump has been getting international media coverage. But he wonders why the company is taking a risk with a high profile stunt that has the potential to seriously harm or kill somebody.

“Red Bull's sponsorship of the jump from outer space may be a marketing coup or one of the all-time greatest marketing mistakes. If all goes well, Red Bull stands to receive a virtually unlimited amount of exposure and brand awareness around the world – and not just today, but for however long people are fascinated by the video images captured during the space dive,” says Professor Wong. “However, the worst case scenario is equally disastrous if something goes wrong. Red Bull, a brand long associated with an extreme lifestyle, would come under fire for sponsoring and essentially promoting dangerous acts, ostensibly in pursuit of cheap thrills.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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