Red Bull and GoPro have informally been in cahoots for years, and today they are publicly declaring a relationship that's expanding in multiple ways. For starters, Red Bull is now an equity partner in GoPro, getting less than 1 percent of the tech company's Class A shares.
The exclusive, global agreement—set for an undisclosed number of years—centers more on content production than stock. GoPro's high-definition video cameras and other recording products will appear at 1,800 Red Bull events in more than 100 countries. They will co-produce live video and other footage as early as this summer, and the clips will be distributed via their online channels, such as Red Bull TV, RedBull.com, GoPro Channel, etc. Various GoPro technologies, like its high-definition cameras, Karma drones and virtual-reality equipment, will capture the videos, which will be shared by the companies, with each having the same rights to distribute across the digital sphere.
The official coupling is about creative collaboration, content marketing, distributing video at scale, cutting-edge tech and each player's ambition to have a burgeoning media company within its respective brand. Red Bull, a beverage marketer at its core, has also been considered by many to be "a media company" for a few years, owning the New York Red Bulls pro soccer franchise and a Formula One racing team while offering a slew of extreme sports programming. Those are just a few of the examples in its content empire.
GoPro, which has failed to satisfy Wall Street in recent quarters, appears smitten with the exclusive deal—and it's not hard to understand why. GoPro has for years emulated Red Bull's longer-held strategy of producing videos that are consistently action-packed and adventurous, and the two companies have teamed up for viral hits in the past. (See video below.)
"We've always felt a bit like Red Bull's younger brother," said Nicholas Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro. "It's no secret we've been inspired by their marketing model since we founded GoPro 14 years ago. And to now be officially partnered—in the way we are—is a reflection of how strong that model is."
Woodman said content for both parties will be significantly ramped up moving forward.
"This is a content-sharing partnership that is dramatically expanded from anything we've done before," he explained. "The [GoPro] inclusion across all of these properties—and consistently so—is enormously powerful for our brand and our business."
The two companies' large social audiences will be leveraged across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Red Bull has 57 million fans and followers across those channels, and GoPro has 24 million. Together, they could build a buzz machine that's the envy of the industry.
"We are already in the position to complement each other famously," Woodman said.
For Austria-based Red Bull, it will also get first looks at products GoPro creates in the future.
"We are looking to integrate GoPro technology into everything Red Bull does, whether it's sports, whether it's events, their cultural events, their adventure travel, their science programming," Woodman said. "No matter what it is, there's a place for the immersive, engaging perspectives that we enable."
The CEO added, "It's one of those rare instances where two companies are organically coming together and 1 plus 1 equals 5."
GoPro investors—and now, Red Bull is among them—can only hope such math adds up in the camera maker's next few earnings reports.