Front Office Fan

A Take on the Games We Watch and the Industry Behind Them

Are You There ROI? It’s Me, Pepsi

Posted by GM/VP of Fan Operations on Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Map

The Map

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of the Bullrun. Bueller? Bueller?

Last week some people got into cars and decided… well I don’t feel like explaining it, so here’s the official explanation from Bullrun:

The Bullrun brand originated from the now legendary Bullrun USA car rally. It is the most glamorous and high profile “luxury lifestyle” automotive rally.

Each year up to a 100 cars, driven by celebrities and individuals from around the world, embark on an epic seven-day rolling road-trip, partying in a different city every night.

Bullrun crosses the USA, bringing together a celebrity strewn cast of characters and for an unforgettable adventure, where, the only obligatory goals are to party, drive and enjoy…

Fuelled by an impressive schedule of public and private events at the finest venues and hotels and in the most exciting cities in America, ’Bullrunners’ make their way from one checkpoint to the next, only learning their next destination daily, rocking to a close each night in the party capitals of America.

Entry to this event is $20,000. This covers both drivers for accommodations, rally entry and meals and parties for the week of the rally.

This live rally event is filmed for TV in 96 countries outside the United States (See Bullrun TV). The TV show will be in it\’s 6th season in 2009. The title of this TV series is \’Cops, Cars & Superstars\’.

  • Celebrities are mentioned twice, so we know who this event is catered to…
  • 20 G’s to race in this event. Kind of affirms the clientele.
  • “Only obligatory goals are to party, drive and enjoy…” sounds awesome. Now where’s my tool box?
  • The rally is filmed for 96 countries outside the United States. So the US doesn’t air the event which would make sense seeing as this seems to be illegal and all… Wait. There is a US television show? What’s the Speed Channel? Goldberg, is that you?

This show format is a \’spin off\’ and based on the legendary Bullrun Rally (above). It is a totally separate event as 12 teams with their cars compete for $200,000 over 4,000 miles in a 10 episode reality elimination TV show (See Bullrun Reality TV).

Referred to as ‘Bullrun’, the show aired on MTV Networks / Spike TV in March 2007 with production of Bullrun Season II due to begin in 2008, airing in 2009. This TV series is also shown around the world in 50 countries.

This is show free to applicants if selected for the TV show. Individuals who want to be Contestants or Flag Girls in this show can set up Driver or Flag Girl profiles on this website and will automatically be considered for the show.

You get a more complete picture of Bullrun when you read the quotes the site posts on their home page.

“The most glamorous rally in the world!” – OK magazine – If OK Magazine says something is “glamorous” I think they are contradicting themselves and straying from their mission. Ultimately, they are forgetting their roots and pandering to the popular crowd, people that wouldn’t settle for “OK.” To thine own self be true, OK Magazine.

“It was glorious. And we rode shotgun for all 3000 miles!” – ESPN Magazine – Did you even offer shotty to the guy in the back seat? He needs leg room too! That’s just rude.

“A 3000-mile rolling party that is half Cannonball Run, half Mardi Gras”! – TRADER Magazine – I really don’t know what a half cannonball is, but is half Mardi Gras when the girl flashes only one boob for a half set of beads?

“Its really cool!” – Helena Christensen – Wow!

“Fantastic people!” – Carl Lewis – Yippee!

“Pushes the style pedal right to the floor.” – FORBES Magazine – …except for that one guy that pushed the breaks and was like “Guys I think you’re still drunk from last night. Maybe you should wait a little while before driving.” Loser.

“Seriously, the best week of my life” – Dennis Rodman – Really? You had an affair with Madonna, a honeymoon with Carmen Electra, won 5 NBA Championships, and wrestled alongside Hulk Hogan and the nWo. And this was the best week of your life?

“Bullrun is hot!” – Paris Hilton – Oh, God… Shut up!

“I am more excited to do Bullrun than when I won the Indy 500” – Mario Andretti – What about when you beat Bowser and saved Princess Peach? Sorry, wrong Mario.

“Turbo-charged but highly civilized.” – Sunday Times Style Magazine – I know Sunday with the Style that has good Times inside a Magazine is published in England and all, but what does that review mean?

Oddly enough, I can’t find these quotes anywhere online except on Bullrun’s website. You’d think that at least the quotes from OK, ESPN, TRADER, FORBES, and Sunday Times Style Magazines would have these lines readily available in articles online, but they are not.

I'm all for events that get Kim Kardashian to dress like this.

I'm all for events that get Kim Kardashian to dress like this.

From what I can tell the rally is an illegal/government frowned upon race across these great United States featuring celebrities and their rich brethren with video recorders. Now that’s all fine and good, but how does something that makes so much money (20k per race team x 100 racers = a cool million), have a huge official sponsor (Pepsi Max), get wall-to-wall coverage on its start from various gossip blogs (thanks again for the view Miss Kardashian), and apparently have a spin-off show on a cable channel less known than Versus (again, that’s the SPEED channel) not get more publicity and lack more purpose? From the various articles on Bullrun, the race is allegedly a charity but the only mention I can find on the official website is a place to donate money to GREEN charity to offset the drivers’ carbon footprint. Where is all this money from the entry fees going?

More importantly, is Pepsi Max’s endorsement of this event the worst official sponsorship in the history of sports? Listen, this event is getting very limited exposure in the United States and I know that we’re only a small piece of the pie, but how popular is the Bullrun series in the 96 countries that cover the event? Will the sponsorship actually be effective? What will it take for Pepsi to get their return on investment? It’s interesting to note that Pepsi’s website mentions nothing of the race.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?

Other  Bullrun sponsors with even less exposure are Manhattan Motor Sports, Spyker Cars, West Coast Customs, Bernard Richards Manufacture,, Shelby Performance Sports, Jagermeister, Capture Technologies Inc., Luxury Boy Toys, Duck and Cover, and The Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation (a charity that Bullrun has advertised for, but it isn’t clear if any proceeds from the race go to the Foundation). At least Pepsi had exposure; these guys just have links at the bottom of Bullrun’s website. Maybe these are the worst sponsorships in the history of sports?

In conclusion, having made fun of Pepsi Max for the worst use of money since some idiot in New York bought a $2,500 seat in the New Yankee Stadium, 81 times, and made allusions to the racers and Home Depot products, I’d like to make a proposition:

Any rich reader of the Front Office Fan that would like to donate a high speed vehicle, the $20,000 entry fee and a credit card with no spending limit so that I can race in, and win, Bullrun 2010 will receive:

  • A blog update of my experience every day.
  • Printed, autographed copies of said blogs.
  • Winnings, if any, will be donated to the charity of your choice and made in your name.
  • My eternal gratitude.

Maybe Pepsi Max could sponsor me? They seem to be good at making frivolous sponsorships and I wouldn’t mind taking the official whip for a spin.


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