What's All the Fizz About?

They are the first band in history to have four Number One Rock Radio Singles from a debut album. They've sold more than 13 million albums and over the past two years, they've played to more than two million fans worldwide. Creed's Scott Stapp, Mark Tremonti and Scott Phillips play hard. They exude a never-ending flow of intense energy.

A citrus-sweet, liquid energy to be exact.

According to Helen McEvoy, Production Assistant for the North American/Human Clay Tour, the European energy drink Red Bull, was a vital asset to both the band and crew while touring. "We worked up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week. We wouldn't have survived without Red Bull," said McEvoy.

She explained that since both band and crew were usually working by five in the morning, they needed the extra boost that the energy drink provided. It was the norm of the band and its 25-to- 30-person crew to go through three cases by mid-morning.

It was even included in the touring contract that Red Bull be provided at each venue along the tour. However, due to its difficult accessibility, Red Bull became an official sponsor and personally made sure the band had their fill of the 8.3 fluid ounces of canned energy that promises "to give you wings."

What's All the Bull About?

According to an article in Time Magazine (July 2000) Leonardo DiCaprio served Red Bull with champagne at his millennium bash and Demi Moore ordered cases of the stimulation drink that is becoming increasingly popular in the States.

If the likes of such stardom are bypassing Evian and reaching for the can that promises to "improve performance, especially during times of increased stress or strain," it leaves the rest of us wondering what exactly this odd, skinny can contains.

Red Bull owner/innovator Dietrich Mateschitz revolutionized the energy market in 1987 when he introduced his spin on Asian stimulation drinks into the Austrian market. Red Bull was born and charged through Europe at an alarming rate.

This non-alcoholic, syrupy-sweet, carbonated beverage claims a unique composition with performance enhancing effects. The combination of essential amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, glucuronolactone and caffeine are advertised as the power of the Bull and are supposed to offer an extra surge of energy when you need it most.

So what exactly are some of the ingredients that produce these revitalizing benefits? For starters, Red Bull advertises that the increased energy is not solely based on the use of caffeine or any other ingredient; it is the combination that gives you the kick. Caffeine equivalent to one cup of black coffee and various forms of sugar are used for the stimulating effect it has on the body, while B-Complex vitamins are used to aid the body in maintaining physical stamina.

Glurcuronolactone is a substance found in the body that accelerates the elimination of toxic substances. And while production of the amino acid Taurine also occurs naturally in the body, Red Bull supplements any deficiency that might occur at times of physical strain when it is not produced sufficiently.

Marilynn C. Ksiazek, Registered Nutritionist and Dietician of Dunmore, Pennsylvania explains that while these ingredients may produce a slight boost, it generally would not increase physical performance. She said, "Other than the soft jolt from the caffeine, energy drinks will not have a noticeable effect, except for the possible psychological effects the individual thinks they are experiencing."

A Bull Market

Despite medical skepticism about the effects of Red Bull on the body, the beverage is an emerging leader in the extreme sports sector.

From snowboarders to cliff divers, Red Bull is looking to charge athletes with an instant liquid adrenaline rush at events that the company not only sponsors, but also has developed.

Calling from the Red Bull Ultra Cross at Lake Tahoe, Emmy Cortes, Director of Communications Red Bull North America, said, "One aspect that makes us so unique in the sports industry is that we actually develop and produce our own events such as this. Today the snowboarders are kicking ass on the slopes and Red Bull is part of that."

The company also sponsors a Red Bull 24-hour Endurance Event -- one of the largest cycling events in England. London athlete Chris Jameson believes that even though Red Bull sponsors the event, most serious athletes would not consider the beverage to be a performance enhancer. "Every team of four receives two crates of Red Bull when they enter. Most serious cyclists would not use the drink as a sports drink, but would probably drink it socially," said Jameson.

This social swigging of Red Bull as the newest trend among cocktails is certainly behind the company's success. For the past ten years in Europe and since the first 1997 US test market in Santa Cruz, Calf., Red Bull has been fuelling club-goers with the promise of "increased mental alertness" into the late hours of the night.

Cortes says, "Although we do not promote the use of alcohol with Red Bull, we offer it as a fantastic alternative. The club scene is the perfect opportunity to get that extra burst of energy and Red Bull fits into that."

Mix one part Red Bull and one part Vodka and you've got the hottest trend in cocktails, despite Cortes' suggested use as an alternative.

Olwyn Perrem, owner of the Britannia Pub in Santa Monica, Calf., explains that Red Bull has been extremely popular in the pub for over a year and people mainly consume the drink with vodka. "Ninety-five percent of the time it is served with vodka. People drink it with vodka to get drunk, but with a clear buzz," Perrem says.

Ksiazek advises consumers to be careful and take into consideration the effects that this can have on the body. She says, "Combining the sedative effects of the alcohol with the stimulating effects of the coffee, you're pulling your body in multiple directions. This eventually has an exhaustive effect on the body."

However, the concept of entering a dark, smoke-filled club after a long, grueling workweek and being able to maintain an intoxicating alert buzz, is a powerful and romantic concept. All-night party-goers are in love with Red Bull, and due to a huge surge in word-of-mouth marketing on the club scene, it just may be a long-term relationship.

Red Bull relies heavily on this particular marketing strategy. Cortes said, "The rumors about us are one of the reasons we are so appealing. We don't like to reveal too much about ourselves at one time because we are not out to flood the market. We are not a fad. We're a product that works. People are finding this out for themselves and telling their friends. Red Bull is here to stay."

Currently selling in 48 different countries and portions of 26 states, with expansion to smaller U.S. cities slowly underway, Red Bull is becoming a household name in the world of energy-enhancing products.

Although Red Bull has adopted the theory of slow expansion in lieu of overly saturating the market, other companies have watched the success of Red Bull and are deciding to get a bit of the action while it's still hot. Cortes said, "We are the pioneers. We're the first true energy drink and we're leading the way for many others."

John Barret, sales manager of Wyoming Quality Beverage Company, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania said, "There is going to be a tidal wave of energy drinks in the market."

He explained that companies are now in the process of producing competitively priced alternatives to the leading energy drink brands. With almost the same ingredients as Red Bull, Blue Ox promises to revitalize your body and mind for significantly less pennies than its predecessor. "There is an explosion of these drinks. They are almost all the same things, just in different catchy cans with different catchy names," said Barret.

He explained that Anheuser Busch, Coca-cola and Gatorade all are in the process of test marketing energy drinks. Sobe can already give you an Adrenaline Rush guaranteed to make you "get it up and keep it up" and Real Things Distributing Company of Merrillville, Indiana is out to get you "stoned to the bone" with a few sips of their new soft drink, Bong Water. From all-night clubbers to students cramming for finals, advertisers are claiming there is a canned remedy as close as the nearest club, convenience store and student center.

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