Red Bull Launching U.S. Lifestyle Magazine

By Cam Martin Comment

Red Bull, the energy drink that’s carved out a nice niche sponsoring extreme sports athletes and events, has launched a glossy lifestyle magazine in the United States that will premiere its June issue later this week.

The Red Bulletin, which is already published in nine countries, features San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum on the cover.

“For most other brands, the commitment is just to the product,” says Raymond Roker, associate publisher of The Red Bulletin and founder of URB magazine, who will oversee the U.S. magazine. But Red Bull’s aim, he says, “is to have a rich conversation with our audience.”

The magazine will target the valuable 18- to 34-year-old male demographic. The question is, do those guys read newspapers, where the majority of the magazines will be featured as an insert?

The AZ Central reports, “The $4.99 magazine will have 75,000 copies available on newsstands. It’s also available by subscription at $12 for 12 issues. But on the third Sunday of each month, the majority of the copies will be tucked inside five Sunday newspapers: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, The Miami Herald and The Houston Chronicle. One media buying executive says the brand’s multimedia dream looks more like a pipe dream. Red Bull’s youthful target is the wrong customer to hit with a print product — particularly one that’s inside newspapers, says Debbie Sklar, vice president of print at Horizon Media.

“Are 18- to 34-year-olds really reading newspapers?” Sklar asks.

But some advertisers have bought in. Among those in the first, 100-page issue: EA Sports, Dyson vacuum and Zappos.