What Did Felix Baumgartner's Jump Mean To His Sponsors? Millions.


On Sunday while most American sports fans were following baseball and the NFL, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner leaped from the heavens and into the record book for Red Bull Stratos, the longest and highest free fall ever recorded. While Baumgartner became an internet sensation overnight, was there any value that he brought to his sponsors? It seems so, according to numbers released this week.
Baumgartner’s jump made him one of the most widely-valued special event participants on the planet, according to the data analysis of Front Row Analytics, a division of Front Row Marketing Services, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing sports and entertainment marketing firms. The record jump pulled in almost $63 Million in sponsor value not just for primary brand partner Red Bull, but for Zenith watches, Riedel Communications and Cypress Skydiving devices, all of which were part of Baumgartner’s successful leap.
“Given the timing of the jump on a crowded Sunday afternoon, it is amazing how much exposure the record quickly received,” said Eric Smallwood, Front Row Analytics Senior Vice President. “While many focused just on Red Bull and their partnership, his secondary sponsors also pulled in some record dollars, again showing that timing and brand placement is everything when looking for exposure.”
Front Row Analytics did their detailed analysis by looking at the branding exposure (from signage, verbal mentions, on-screen text and logo placement) from Felix’s Space Suit, space capsule, lift crane, support team clothing, spectators apparel from the Live broadcast on YouTube and Discovery Channel in the United States and Canada. In addition, they analyzed the value received from broadcasts outside of North America in over 200 countries.
FR Analytics also projected the value that will be received from all other exposure coming from the LIVE Jump, including Special TV Programs (Discovery Channel/National Geographic is producing a special broadcast), news radio and TV broadcast highlights (prior to and well after the jump), Newsprint and Magazine editorial content and photographs, Social Media and Internet exposure and other Ancillary exposure (i.e. promotional spots, merchandise, etc).
The overall value for Red Bull is projected to be $48,116,333 from the branding exposure. Zenith Watches will receive an estimated $12,401,300. Secondary sponsors including Cypress and Riedel, will bring in $1.5 million and $216,000, respectively.
Will that brand value continue to increase over time or will the Austrian thrill seeker have to find new ways to entice people to follow him, and more importantly for his sponsors, Red Bull Stratos? That all remains to be seen. We live in a world of short memories these days, and one jump will not make a lengthy career. However for Red Bull, it was a calculated risk which translated into some great brand placement.
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