Take 5 With Big E And Mike Kelso

By Big E
It’s no secret that the energy drink companies spend a lot of their marketing dollars within the motocross and Supercross realm. Rockstar Energy Drink is one of them. Known to many as one of the world’s most powerful energy drinks, Rockstar Energy Drink entered the sport of motocross and Supercross four years ago and seen tremendous success since. I recently talked with Rockstar’s marketing man, Mike Kelso, to get his perspective on his company, why they are involved in the sport, and any new plans they might have brewing for 2010.

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What do you do at Rockstar Energy Drink?
My title is Marketing Director. My direct responsibilities globally, are music and motorsports. I am in charge of anything that has to do with four or two wheels, from four-wheel short course, to motocross and Supercross.

How many days of the month are you actually home?
I am only home for two or three days per month. It’s pretty bad. I just got back from Thailand. Then, I went to Mexico. Now, I am on my way to Australia. It’s been gnarly lately, that’s for sure!

Has 2009 been a productive year for Rockstar Energy Drink?

Oh man, are you kidding me! It was insane for us. We crushed it this year on so many levels. From where we were four years ago, which was almost embarrassing, to where we are now, and what we have become, it’s amazing! From our off-road truck sponsorships, to Ryan Dungey’s championship, to Chad Reed’s championship, this year could not have been better for us!


Why does Rockstar feel Supercross, motocross, and FMX is such a good fit for your brand?

It’s a combination of a lot of things Big E. It’s the sport. It’s racing at its finest. It’s the fans. It’s the amount of exposure that the sport receives and there are so many things that we love about it. When I look at NASCAR, there is nothing wrong with it per say, but to me it is not appealing. Sure there are trillions of eyeballs on it, but it’s nothing like the excitement of Supercross at all. Supercross is one of our main efforts at Rockstar and it’s important for us to be there.

How long has Rockstar been involved in the sport?
We are entering our fifth year in Supercross and we could not be any happier.

Is Rockstar still moving forward with the Suzuki factory team for 2010?
Of course! We never want to let those guys go! What they are and do is part of us. We work together on so many different things that sometimes the relationship gets strained, but what relationship is not like that? Our relationship with Suzuki is going to be going on for a long time…guaranteed. We have been involved with Suzuki for four years now and every year we need to switch it up a bit because the playing field keeps changing. Overall, I could not ask to be involved with a better manufacturer. From top to bottom, I think they are the best out there! Suzuki’s’ bikes are amazing. The people they have in management, like Roger DeCoster, are amazing—it’s like family over there for us.

Any new teams or athletes involved with Rockstar for 2010?
Yeah, we are going to be working with Bill Keefe’s new Rockstar Energy Suzuki team. It’s not a factory team, but it’s something we are going to build on over the next few years to be a badass program.

The new team will have four 250cc guys?
No. There will be couple of big bikes and a couple of Lites bikes.

How about on the FMX side of things? Will you guys have any new riders? How about that Nuclear Cowboyz show that Feld is promoting?
For sure we are going to be backing all of our top guys in FMX next year. We may add some more too. We have a lot of plans for the Nuclear Cowboyz show that people are just starting to hear about, but we just have to wait until the press release comes out. You are going to see a lot of good moves by Rockstar, that’s for sure!

Are there any new products coming to market for Rockstar?

Yes. 2010 is going to see a lot of new and exciting products coming from Rockstar Energy Drink. I can’t talk about them right now, but the goods will be unveiled soon.

What would you like to say to the fans of Rockstar?

You know what; I have been with the company since day one. Coming from a company that started nine years ago with less money than it takes to start a hot dog stand—to be a player where we are now, I could not thank the consumer that drinks our products enough. You guys have helped us become one of the most talked about beverage companies out there. Thank you for your support! You guys ROCK!

Thanks for your time Mike.

Thanks Big E.