Poll results: Should adventure sport events accept sponsorship from energy drinks companies.

Earlier this month we posted a poll asking you if adventure sport events and festivals should accept sponsorship from energy drink companies. Well the results are in. And interesting.

Just over 56% of you said yes, it’s ok for adventure sport events and festivals to accept sponsorship from energy drinks companies. Nearly 36% of respondents said no, it’s not ok. And a further 7.8% weren’t sure.

However juding by the comments there is a real division between the yes and no camp. According to one commenter

...It's akin to accepting sponsorship from tobacco and alcohol companies in my opinion. And I know folk will say that so many sports would not have any exposure were it not for Red Bull but I think they would have eventually due to social media and the simple fact that more and more people are getting involved”.

Another comment read...”If the top athletes in the films are [sponsored by an energy drink company] then what's the difference?”

These are fair and insightful points. And I'm not sure there's a right answer.

From my perspective as an adventure sports film festival organiser if you take out all the films that feature energy drink sponsored athlete's you might also reduce exposing the audience to incredible stories. Which is the entire point of the festival.

However there's a big difference between legitimizing a brand through direct sponsorship vs endorsing an artistic medium which allows filmmakers and athlete's to express themselves. Is the filmmaker’s artistic integrity compromised for being funded by an energy drinks company? Is ours for screening their film?

One of the most inspiring films I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching is Mc Conkey. I wrote an article about called it recently called ‘two films that inspired me to quit my job and travel the world’. It was produced by Matchstick Productions. And Red Bull Media House, Red Bull’s multi-platform media company.

Which brings me back to my original question. Should adventure sport events and festivals accept sponsorship from energy drinks companies? I don’t know. And I don’t think it’s my place to say. I can only speak from my own experience and about my own opinions in relation to our festival.

Which companies and sponsors an adventure sports event works with is a very personal choice to the organisers of that event. For our own event we have an ethos and a set of loose guidelines about what kind of companies we work with, accept sponsorship from or pursue.  As I imagine most other festivals do.

Got something to say? Let us know what you  think in the comments section below.

Last modified onSunday, 06 September 2015 12:11

1 comment


    Red Bull granted some of Shane's biggest wishes, he would not have been able to do half the things he did if it wasn't for Red Bull. People may argue and say he pushed himself because he was sponsored, but he was going to do what he did not matter what, it just might have taken longer or been more difficult.

    posted by Saturday, 25 June 2016 19:12 Comment Link

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