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Redbull Rampage: Catch-22


Capricorn

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Easily one of the best and most thought-provoking write-ups about Rampage to date:

 

 

Cast against big wave surfing and skateboarding, moto freestyle or big mountain skiing, it's arguable that Rampage takes the cake as one of, if not the, gnarliest sporting events in the action sports world. Alongside backflips over deep desert canyons, and drops into nothingness, viewers watch as mountain bikers either shred or rag doll their way down a cliff riddled, booter laden, singletrack scratched mountain face. You can not watch a lot of sports. But once exposed to its unadulterated extremity, it’s near impossible to not watch the Red Bull Rampage.

 

http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb10208724/p5pb10208724.jpg

 

And while the tightly controlled GoPro and Red Bull edits of action highlights, crash compilations and behind the scenes continue to be released on the interweb, it’s quite obvious that the corresponding exposure for our sport is massive. Unprecedented actually. This and the network NBC show hasn’t even aired. Nothing in mountain biking comes close. So then, enough said? A job well done. All is perfect in the Utah desert?

 

Well, maybe not.

 

 

Rest of the article over at PB

Edited by Capricorn
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admins: please delete one of these threads. Interweb wobble made two of them... :eek: :blink:

 

SB edit ... sorted

Edited by Slowbee
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well said DD. It's a side i personally had no inkling of.

 

In words, Andreu Lacondeguy pretty much summed it up for me: “Holy ****, did I really just risk my life for nothing?”

 

But in pictures, this is my take away from Rampage 2013: Dustin Schaad

 

http://snowbrains.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Screen-shot-2013-10-13-at-11.15.12-AM1.png

 

http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb10205038/p5pb10205038.jpg

Edited by Capricorn
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well said DD. It's a side i personally had no inkling of.

 

In words, Andreu Lacondeguy pretty much summed it up for me: “Holy ****, did I really just risk my life for nothing?”

 

 

Yeah the prize money is pretty abysmal when in comparison to what the budget and ROI must be!

 

No doubt it's an incredible spectacle and the athletes command huge respect. But fark, the time a life is lost for the sake of more $$ and views, we haven't really progressed further than the days of gladiators.

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Guest Omega Man

Yeah the prize money is pretty abysmal when in comparison to what the budget and ROI must be!

 

No doubt it's an incredible spectacle and the athletes command huge respect. But fark, the time a life is lost for the sake of more $$ and views, we haven't really progressed further than the days of gladiators.

EXACTLY!

 

I have the same thoughts about the Isle of Man TT. I absolutely love the TT but the bikes and the speeds have got to the point where I really think it should be banned. But then on the other hand the riders and fans love it and nowhere else do people have the freedom to do something so completely life threatening and be cheered for it.

 

And another thought is that the US government send thousands of young men off to die in the desert for oil without a 2nd thought so why not do this? These guys are living their dream. Yes it's dangerous and life threatening. But at least there's a reward.

 

Just a thought

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Seems a similar quandary with slopestyle - skills / tricks have got to such a high level, guys are really putting themselves on the line in terms of injury just to achieve that fraction of a point more ... this season a lot were asking where to from here.

Edited by kosmonooit
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Yeah the prize money is pretty abysmal when in comparison to what the budget and ROI must be!

 

No doubt it's an incredible spectacle and the athletes command huge respect. But fark, the time a life is lost for the sake of more $$ and views, we haven't really progressed further than the days of gladiators.

 

Ja, in this game there's a very fine line between hero status and hospital status. But I guess these guys are all trained pro's and are taking calculated risks. I hope.

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Again, my libertarian mind says that if their willing to risk that much for that little it's their freedom to do so. I wouldn't risk my life for some coverage and a $5 000 pay day.

 

I personally think they're being ripped off, but if there's no gun to their heads, well then they're the willing. I guess that's where the question of catch-22 comes in. Don't compete and go huge and you're doomed to nobodyville. So to what extent is there true volition? I don't know.

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And it's actually a really interesting situation this. It's not like miners with fairly commonly available skill sets that are doing labour making people billions. These riders are the elite of their industry, and I'd argue that their skill set is scarce and in demand (otherwise Red Bull wouldn't even be there). So the value of their labour compared to the reward they receive while making Red Bull a boatload of cash seems to be out of whack.

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An honest, insightful, logically argued post of surprising quality.

 

The issue of a fatally, especially (and unfortunately) is most relevant: we are all still very much spectators in the Colosseum, we watch others do what we wish not to. To be enticed.

 

Tragically, big wave surfing and motorsport have had their fatalities and as such, the opportunity cost is seen to be sufficient to increased financial reward. Wave of the year nets $50k.

 

Prize money is the argument's flaw, in my estimation: Vettel and Rossi don't make money from race winnings, they make its from brand association and driver (rider) fees. Here Rampage is the perfect (high-risk) gateway event for exposure, to gain an attractive bike or apparel contract.

 

But yes: mountain biking will have to suffer a fatality before it's graded as a truly extreme sport. A conflicting state of affairs, but a fact all the same.

 

As a final point: the most extreme of all sports, with the most severe gatekeeping (in terms of talent, fear and ability) has virtually no financial reward and very little hero worshiping, yet by far the highest fatality rating: high altitude alpine climbing. So, if they aren't complaining, well...

  • Caveat: I love riding my mountain bike. I am in no manner a downhill rider. Yet I follow the events. A tame trail rider at best.

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Guest Omega Man

Prize money is the argument's flaw, in my estimation: Vettel and Rossi don't make money from race winnings, they make its from brand association and driver (rider) fees. Here Rampage is the perfect (high-risk) gateway event for exposure, to gain an attractive bike or apparel contract.

 

Agreed. I'm glad you mentioned Vettel & Rossi. As far as I know Monster pay Rossi $3mil a year to run that little Monster sticker on the chin bar of his helmet. That's probably as much if not more than they spend of Mountain Biking in it's entirety. And the physical risks the riders face are the same if not more.

 

Of course I'm am aware in the the flaw in my logic in that a lot more people have heard the name Valentino Rossi than Cam Zink.

 

I keep coming back to the Isle of Man TT as a comparison. What a lot of people don't know is that the riders and teams are paid appearance money to show up and race by the Isle of Man government. The more high profile you are and the more professional your team looks the more $ you get to show up. The TT is so important to the local tourist economy that they have a Minister of the TT in their government.

 

The upshot of this is that a large amount of the riders in the British and World Endurance championship finance the rest of their race season with their appearance money from the TT. So it's not just for the love of speed. There's a huge cash incentive to do it.

Edited by Omega Man
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And it's actually a really interesting situation this. It's not like miners with fairly commonly available skill sets that are doing labour making people billions. These riders are the elite of their industry, and I'd argue that their skill set is scarce and in demand (otherwise Red Bull wouldn't even be there). So the value of their labour compared to the reward they receive while making Red Bull a boatload of cash seems to be out of whack.

 

agreed.... Red Bull has placed themselves really well to "promote" these events - Red Bull Joyride is another example. Red Bull coins it large, they should up the prize money on offer!

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