Added a comment about feature Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective 2/14/2016 12:19 PM

I watched the videos and thought to myself how are those guys alive? It's nuts where they have pushed this sport. If my child was a pro-mountain biker, I would be bummed. The risk/reward ratio isn't there for me.

I want to comment though that I doubt Red Bull makes millions off these events like you suggest, or that a post that gets 100K shares is worth that much. I think advertisers pay around $50 for posts to instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers.

I think the real reason that Redbull doesn't insure riders is that Redbull doesn't make enough money for them to make a profit AND insure riders. Downhill MTB is a tiny sport. Yes, it's growing, but compared to something like tennis, swimming, MMA or another fringe sport, it's probably several orders of magnitude smaller in terms of audience size and the value of those eyeballs to advertisers.

The idea that putting on a comp like this once a year is a big money maker for Redbull is probably false. What are their margins? 50 cents a can? What would a comp like this cost? 2 million? Are they going to sell an extra 4 million cans by doing this comp? If there are 400,000 downhill mountain bikers are we all going to buy an extra 10 cans of Redbull after seeing this video and therefor cause Redbull to break even? We can argue about the numbers, and I just made all those numbers up, but I bet they're ballpark.

If Redbull didn't do this competition, they could put up even more ads in magazines or whatever and sell only slightly less cans, right? My guess is that Redbull loses lots of money on most of the comps they sponsor and every now and then makes a ton of money on one competition when a video goes viral, and in the aggregate does okay.

From inside the industry, I think it's hard to see how small mountain biking is. From outside the industry, I think the reason that riders don't make much money is obvious: there isn't that much money to go around.

Riders do it for the love and not the money. It's not weird that these guys can be the 10th best in the world at something incredibly dangerous and hard, like mountain biking, and get paid much less than the millionth best public school teacher or assistant manager at a chain restaurant. It's a market signal.

Young men do stupid things. These are consenting adults doing things that are not rational. Which is why I hope my kid becomes the 500th best pro golfer rather than 5th best mountain biker.

0 0 0

This feature has 88 comments.