One of the world’s biggest brand’s, Monster Energy, make an interesting case study as they have used sports sponsorship to climb to the top of the energy drinks industry.
Monster Energy has become a brand synonymous with the sporting world. When tuning in to some of your favourite sports, you are never too far away from their iconic claw logo. The California-based brand pride themselves on being authentic, and they have found a way to connect with consumers through sports sponsorship.
Monster Energy is currently the sponsor of some of the world’s most popular sporting events and athletes, but the sports market hasn’t always been the brand’s main focus. Their ‘rock and roll’ image has seen them focus a lot of their marketing in the music industry. They sponsor various up and coming music artists in the USA- from rock bands all the way to rappers and singers. The success they’ve had in this field prompted them to launch the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour in 2011. This annual tour showcases some of the biggest new names in music, and it covers 5 genres- Hip Hop, EDM, Rock, Country, and College. Famous artists who have performed on these tours include Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, and 21 Savage.
At the end of 2022, Monster Energy became partners with popular football team, Newcastle, adding to a list of other Premier League teams they sponsor. This list includes West Ham and Southampton, whilst they have previously been the sponsor of other teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. Their deal with Newcastle includes digital branding rights at their iconic stadium, St James’ Park. Having a presence in the world’s most popular sports league makes a lot of sense for Monster Energy, who ventured into the league as a part of an initiative to strengthen their UK-focused marketing activities. The brand’s broad sports sponsorship portfolio is very impressive, and it even extends to combat sports- in 2021 they signed a 3 year renewal for their sponsorship of the UFC.
Monster Energy’s list of partners proves they are a brand that is very much in touch with the sporting world, making it no surprise that they identified motorsport as an attractive market to enter. Having partnered with top teams and athletes, they have now established a very strong presence in both MotoGP and Formula 1. However, the energy drink brand’s ties to motorsport run even deeper than just the top 2 motorsports, as they sponsor a long list of other sports including Motocross, NASCAR, Drag Racing etc.
Monster Energy in the motorsport world
The Monster Energy MotoGP sponsorship
Having seen the success that rival brand, Red Bull had in sponsoring MotoGP riders, Monster Energy partnered with the legendary rider, Valentino Rossi, in 2009. Nicknamed ‘The Doctor,’ Rossi is arguably the greatest rider to ever grace MotoGP, winning 7 premier class World Championships in a career which spanned over 2 decades. Monster Energy struck gold sponsoring the Italian, as being aligned with such a popular figure has helped them to really grow their image in MotoGP. This partnership has seen them produce media content like ‘Valentino Rossi: The Doctor Series,’ boosting fan engagement with the brand and, in 2014, they even released a signature drink- ‘Monster Energy The Doctor’.
Valentino Rossi spent a lot of his career racing for the Yamaha MotoGP team, who are officially known as the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. Monster Energy became an official sponsor of the team in 2013 and then became the title sponsor in 2019. This partnership has made it so that you cannot tune into a MotoGP race without laying your eyes on the brand’s claw logo, as it is on the riders’ helmets, suits, and bike livery. Just this year a renewal was signed to the deal, highlighting the establishment of a strong relationship between the two brands. Commenting on the recent renewal, Rodney Sacks, Chairman and co-CEO of Monster Energy, said ‘Monster Energy and Yamaha have had a long history of racing together at the very pinnacle of motorcycle racing and during that time we have forged a successful partnership both on and off the racetrack.’
So far, Monster Energy and Yamaha’s partnership has delivered the MotoGP triple crown in 2015, the team title in 2016, and the MotoGP World Championship in 2021. That 2021 title was won by French rider, Fabio Quartararo, who is one of many current riders sponsored by Monster Energy. He is joined by fellow team Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli, Alex Rins, and the 2017 World Champion Joan Mir, among others.
The partnership doesn’t end with MotoGP either, as the deal even includes Monster Energy being an official partner to Yamaha teams participating in the Motocross World Championship and Dakar Rally. This underlines the deep connection the brand has made with motorsport.
It’s clear to see how Monster Energy have established themselves in MotoGP, and the success of their partnership with Team Yamaha and Valentino Rossi highlights a view we hold at RTR- it’s important to create partnerships from your sponsorship deals.
The Monster Energy Formula 1 sponsorship
The brand’s presence in motorsport extends to F1, as, just like they did in MotoGP, Monster Energy partnered with one of the biggest teams in the sport- the Mercedes AMG Petronas Team. The sponsorship started in 2010, and the fact their deal is still going strong now is testament to the connection that has been made between the two brands. It also opened the door to securing Lewis Hamilton as one of their athletes.
Lewis Hamilton is an F1 legend, having won 7 World Championships and having broken various records. Securing one of the most popular athletes has obvious benefits, and the deal he signed with Monster back in 2017 has seen them team up to bring out various ‘LH44’ signature drinks. The similarity of this marketing to Valentino Rossi’s makes it clear that the California-brand have made a conscious effort to align themselves with the best of the best. Not a bad strategy…
With the influence of motorsports now growing rapidly, as seen by F1 storming into the US market, it’s safe to say that Monster Energy’s decision to venture into our world over a decade ago has paid off.
Picture: Lewis Hamilton, Jake Archibald, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0