Take a quick look around at the extensive range of Red Bull sports activities taking place all over the globe. From snowboarding to skateboarding, from kitesurfing to motocross, from cycling to beach football and even water skiing, the globe of Red Bull is loaded with enthusiasm and adventure. For families and individuals alike, the scope and variety of Red Bull sports are simply phenomenal. With the launch of the highly successful Red Bull Z-MAX, it seems that the company is one with its foot in the door for virtually any and all forms of athletic endeavour.
Red Bull has a long standing history in both the worlds of motor sports and racing. Back in the early nineties, it was involved in establishing and running the KTM factory racing team. The factory team would eventually go on to become KTM Austria and then the Red Bull Racing Teams.
In the wake of these years of involvement in motorsport and the financial downturn that the industry was facing, KTM made a bold move and decided to try something new. The company had already seen a rise in sales and development in other areas and it was looking to capitalise on this by setting up its own racing team. This included karting and of course, racing. The first season of Red Bull gaming action saw the establishment of a whole new line-up of Red Bull Racing Cars, which featured cars from the likes of Toro Rosso and Ferrari.
Red Bull’s second venture into the world of motorsport came in the form of the holding of the Clermont-Rougeot Super Prix, which was held at Estoril, Portugal. Although it was only a one day event, it marked the dawn of a new era for Red Bull and for the company as a whole. For the past few years KTM has built itself a strong and stable foundation, with a wide range of different models and vehicles available to choose from. The Clermont-Rougeot GP2 Series is an example of how KTM has kept pace with the other teams in the sport and has also led to major advancements such as having a modern digital control package. KTM is currently contracted to supply the Formula D Racing teams of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, though it has yet to confirm any further expansion into motor racing.
KTM is also contracted to supply the Oregano Rallycross teams of KTM Austria and BMW. This contract is one of the main reasons why Red Bull is so keen to get involved in the sport. While there has been some speculation that the company may be planning to enter into the ownership of the scene, it has always remained one of their primary targets. For years KTM has developed its own strategies and technologies that have enabled it to keep ahead of the competition. In addition to this, they have had several success stories in terms of sponsorship deals and long term partnerships.
With regards to the sport, KTM’s involvement is minimal compared to that of the Red Bulls. In fact, they do not even have a direct relationship with the German based company. This is because the two companies are focused more on their respective racing series. The collaboration between the two has seen them share resources and the knowledge base behind a number of different projects. As a company, KTM Austria has focused more on power than performance in the past. The recent news of the company merging its own sports car arm, the MTMC with the KTM team was unprecedented, to say the least.
After the merger the two teams will become one, making Red Bull Racing both a worldwide known manufacturer of rallycross vehicles and a producer of its own endurance racing team. The move is expected to strengthen the future of both companies, and to help them develop new, high-tech technologies. The move also promises to bring greater visibility to the sport in the coming years. For now, it looks as though the new team will be providing support for the existing Renault flugtag effort and developing its own new products in the process. Whether or not this effort will translate into significant increases in sales is not yet known, but the addition of the sporty Red Bull Racing name to the roster of organisations involved in the sport should help things do look up.
The move will allow the two organisations to collaborate more closely, with an eye to trying to increase the exposure of their products and to increase their global market share. The addition of KTM to the already successful Renault stable, and the setting up of a joint venture between the two companies has opened up a new era in the world of motor sport. It will be fascinating to see what comes from this, and whether the results will be able to live up to the ambitions of both companies. The addition of the KTM brand to the ever-popular Red Bull Racing lineup, and the likelihood of a joint effort between the established brands is a huge step in the right direction.