“I’m at the point where I could take it or leave it”
Pat Bowden breaks down his thoughts on energy drink sponsors, from the position of an athlete who arguably should have been picked up by Red Bull, Monster Energy or Rockstar a very long time ago.
Before Pat even took Freestyle Motocross seriously, he knew he was destined for big things, and had already emailed Red Bull simply to introduce himself. Not ask for sponsorship, but to let them know to keep their eyes open on what he plans to do in the future.
Pat always felt Red Bull was the company to help the best riders realise their dreams. And after winning Nitro World Games twice, standing on the podium at the FMX World Championships at NIGHT of the JUMPs, riding X Games in Sydney and being one of the most stylish riders in the world with a bag of tricks not many of the very elite could even possess – he still is rolling with minimal support from the industry compared to other riders who have a laundry list of sponsors longer than your arm.
With no support, and feeling heartbroken and disappointed that his dedication and work ethic didn’t produce the results he hoped for, Pat realised that maybe this is the path he needs to take.
Maybe with an Energy Drink partner, Pat may never have pushed himself to learn bigger and crazier tricks? Maybe without the support, he would never have backed himself and continued to focus on his style to impress the judges more, to get the extra points and hopefully display it to a sponsor for some support.
And maybe he wouldn’t have created his own long term plan of content creation with a tight-knit group which we will hopefully start to see coming to light very soon.
As Pat says in the Riders Lounge Podcast, he is not owned by anyone. He has 100% freedom to do what he wants.
Pat can create any stunt he feels comfortable with and can accept an invitation to any event despite which energy drink brand might have a title sponsorship (which sometimes sees competing branded athletes completely disregarded).
An example Pat gave is Evel Knievel!
Evel didn’t jump Caeser’s Palace with a Coca-Cola helmet.
Knievel did everything on his own. He owned his stunts and he owned his brand.
Evel Knievel became a brand the rest of the world would continue to remember today.
A key lesson can be learned by Pat Bowden’s sheer doggedness to prove to potential energy drink sponsors that he is ‘good enough’. When actually, he has proven he doesn’t even need their support and has potentially shown he is the rider outside of the box which other riders wish to emulate.
Knowing where Pat’s mind is going, I would have to say that would be the most valuable asset to any energy drink sponsor right now:
* To find the rider who stands out
* Who has the crazy ideas
* Has the balls to attempt his own ideas
* And the skill to pull land new tricks or stunts* The results to back it all up
I guess the challenge is thrown down. Which brand will come on board to actually help Pat and not hinder those dreams.
Time will tell.
Thank you to Rothaus Brewery for their support of the Riders Lounge Podcast with the Tannenzaepfle alcohol free beer, brewed in the Black Forest region of Germany for keeping the dust down while we chat away in these podcasts.