Red Bull Billionaire Broadens Reach of ‘Almost Independent Magazine’

This past Sunday, subscribers to the LA Times and several other major metropolitan U.S. dailies got something new to go along with the coupon sheets, drugstore flyers, and pared down color comics: the first U.S. edition of Red Bulletin, a monthly mag from the makers of the energy drink.

These are suddenly tough times for Austrian guys with ambition, but via a sprawling and highly entertaining profile of billionaire Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz (pictured), Business Week is helping set things back on an even keel. The insert issue of Red Bulletin encompassed features on Bob Dylan and San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum, and according to BW reporter Duff McDonald, is part of a big media push:

Red Bull’s current ambitions reflect a serious ramping up, as well as the realization of a business plan that eschews conventional advertising in favor of marketing through its own events, shows, and publications. The company shipped more than 1.2 million copies of the first Red Bulletin in the U.S. (about one-third of Sports Illustrated‘s paid circulation)…

The magazine is a product of Red Bull Media House, a subsidiary media company launched in Austria in 2007 that expanded with a Los Angeles outpost this January.

Throw in a fall snowboarding documentary, some reality TV show brainstorming with Bunim-Murray and it all adds up to what Mateschitz deems “our most important line extension so far.”

[Photo credit: Forbes]