August 18, 2006 If you can’t remember the first time you heard the name Red Bull, we can tell you it wasn’t long ago, because the brand didn’t exist before 1987 and wasn’t sold outside Austria until 1992. Driven by a marketing campaign based around over-the-top, extreme living, Red Bull has become the world’s best known and top selling energy drink and one of its most valuable brands in short order. Similarly, the Red Bull Air Race World series was conceived in 2001 to make flying more interesting and accessible for the public, the first race was held in 2003 and the 2006 series has been held in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Berlin, St. Petersberg and Instanbul with Budapest this weekend and Longleat (UK), San Francisco, and Perth still to come. In five short years, Red Bull has manufactured a new form of mass-appeal spectator sport where pilots race against the clock around a slalom course of 20 metre high air gates, with races staged in the heart of the world’s major cities before an enthralled audience of well over a million spectators at a time. Indeed, the nine race series will have more live spectators in 2006 than will witness the 18 Formula One races. Extraordinary image gallery with this story.
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