Publicity stunts come in varying degrees of absurdity. There’s the 72 hour marriage, the classic drunken meltdown, and the awkwardly filmed and leaked ‘home movie.’ Occasionally an individual will take the ‘stunt’ literally and perform an actual feat worth the press; this weekend, it was Felix Baumgartner, who broke the record for the highest skydive in history. The man jumped out of a helium balloon from the stratosphere and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular propulsion; as someone who can barely ride an escalator without fits of anxiety, the mere thought of this is nausea-inducing.
The event, Red Bull’s Stratos, built on the energy beverage company’s ever-expanding role in extreme sports. From annual events such as Flugtagto mountain-biking and surfing competitions, Red Bull has broadened their brand’s reach via sponsorship and event-promotion. Their web-hits and overall awareness (Monday pun) skyrocketed as Baumgartner took the plunge from 24 miles up (broadcasted live on YouTube), and discussion will continue about the achievement and Red Bull’s association with its completion.
Sponsorships are just another distinct avenue for generating brand-awareness and name recognition in today’s marketplace. At first glance, many sponsorships may not appear to provide the initial ROI you desire, but the truth of the matter is they create buzz and association that accompanies an event, be it a community outreach program or national stunt like Stratos.
The gospel around the PR/PR offices is that your greatest allies in publicity are frequency and repetition. Along with a stout presence online and in print media, sponsoring an event is a fantastic medium for creating the notoriety you desire. Red Bull will be forever linked to Felix Baumgartner’s leap from Earth’s stratosphere; align yourself with local organizations and events and watch your name-recognition grow.
PR/PR Public Relations