Ricky Gadson and his Monster Energy Drink-backed Super Sport Kawasaki ZX14. Image credit: K&N Filters.
In a report issued today by the Wall Street Journal, the Coca-Cola Company, which has the Full Throttle Energy Drink brand that serves at the title sponsor of NHRA championship drag racing as part of its vast portfolio, currently is in talks to acquire the Monster Beverage Corp. – makers of the popular Monster Energy Drink brand. Per the report, Cola-Cola, the world’s preeminent soft drink maker, is interested in expanding its presence in the growing energy drink market, and with sales of $1.7 billion last year and expected growth of 17% this year, Monster certainly provides that presence.
The Full Throttle brand reportedly hasn’t performed up to par with the leading energy drink brands, which include Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar.
The Coca-Cola Company and the NHRA partnered in 2001 with the company’s POWERade sports drink brand, and in 2009 transitioned to the Full Throttle Energy Drink brand as the title sponsor of the world’s premier drag racing sanctioning body. Coca-Cola and the NHRA last year re-upped their agreement though the 2013 season. When the current agreement between the NHRA and Coca-Cola concludes next season, it will mark one of the longest-running sponsorships in sports at 12 years.
The acquisition of the Monster Beverage Company by Coca-Cola is pure speculation at this point and hinges on a number of make-or-break factors, and as such, the very thought that Monster Energy Drink could eventually be tied to NHRA drag racing is even deeper-rooted speculation, but we can all certainly dream of such a scenario where a highly visible and globally-recognized brand is involved in big league drag racing.
Monster sits second in the fledgling energy drink market share to Red Bull – albeit a distant second – and targets a young core demographic of college students and young adults that drag racing desperately needs to get out to the races.
Monster Energy is already involved in a wide range of major sports arenas, including two-wheeled dirt and asphalt, action sports, water sports, off-road and rally racing, and even drag racing with motorcycle racing standout Ricky Gadson.