Red Bull Music Academy

Red Bull is a corporation, which produce only one beverage. Yet, it is one of the most well known and successful corporations worldwide. How does Red Bull achieve such exposure and achieve such high turnaround selling just one type of drink? One of the reasons is Red Bull’s sponsorship of sports and music. The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) is an organisation that sponsors music events and has also become well known for creating video’s featuring interviews with underground artists such as Frankie Knuckles and MF DOOM.

Corporate Sponsorship
Fabian Holt, researcher at the ISE institute at Roskilde University, in a new book chapter, describes the RBMA as being different from usual corporate sponsorship by providing the sponsored a high level of autonomy for their individual activites. This is different from for example advertising, where certain images are produced for specific media communications. Sponsorship instead promotes a brand through the medium of core participants, activites, and experiences of culture. In the case of Red Bull, this enables them to not only promote the culture which is featured in their sponsored events, but to also establish connections to professionals in local social networks that can facilitate extensive advertising and sales activities.
Artistic Quality & Global Network Strategy
Fabian Holt’s research about RBMA’s roles in sensitive cultural spheres, shows that RBMA brings an artistic quality and focus as well as genuine engagement with music. However, his research brings up the problematic of RDMA being a “culture producing brand sphere with a global network strategy”, which music journalism generally has not payed attention to. The implications which follow are concerned with marketing now being an integral force in cultural life, and co-producing culture from sensitive and previously anti-corporate spheres. The consequences of such a mixing of corporate and anti-corporate interests are surely important to pay attention to, and this chapter represents a well researched effort to do so.