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Rich Energy boss targets Red Bull

NEWS STORY
07/02/2019

Even as the wraps were about to be taken off Haas 2018 contender, which had been brought to the RAC Club in London for the purposes of showing the team's new livery, social media was awash with jokes relating to the American team's new sponsor.

For while the car proudly sports the logo of Rich Energy, the British energy drink, nobody seems to have ever tasted the stuff, far less bought it, leaving many wondering how a product that doesn't appear widely available can access the sort of money needed to sponsor an F1 team.

Last year the company was linked with a buy-out of Force India, but that came to nothing, unsurprisingly when it was revealed that the company had little in the bank... much like the team it was allegedly seeking to buy.

Then, late last year, having been courted by Williams in Austin, Rich Energy made an 11th hour decision to take its money to Haas, once again raising eyebrows in the paddock and on social media.

Speaking at today's livery reveal, Rich Energy CEO, Williams Storey, was keen to dismiss the claims about his company, insisting that it is a serious player and is targeting Red Bull, both on the race track and off, as it aims to become the number one energy drink.

"We are looking forward to taking on Red Bull, on and off the track," Storey told reporters, insisting that his product is available in 43 countries and has sold 90 million cans.

"I'm full of admiration for Red Bull, they're a very good business," he continued, "but we feel we've got a compelling proposition, a better brand."

"There's been an awful lot of talk of ownership, previous regime and the future," he added, when asked why he had chosen F1, a sport that positively devours money, "but ultimately it's going to remain the pinnacle long term. It has a brand value, F1, which I think is unprecedented in sport. Therefore for us it's a great platform and we intend to being in F1 long, long term.

"Haas absolutely are a dream partner for us," he insists. "They are a David taking on Goliaths and we are the same in the drinks business. By every metric, they were vastly superior. They're uniquely positioned to exploit regulation changes. They're run in a very, very unpretentious fashion, they're proper racers, Gene Haas is a wonderful businessman who is approaching motor racing in the right way, they have a brilliant team principal and they've got two drivers with personality, which I think is superb."

Meanwhile asked about claims that his product is rarer than rocking horse manure, he told Motorsport.com. "I think a lot of people have put two and two together and got five. I've heard these nonsense rumours, whatever, and it's just completely risible. I just ignore it.

"Ultimately we've just produced 90 million cans. As far as I'm concerned anyone who says it doesn't exist it's like saying man never walked on the moon, or Elvis is still alive. It's just fantasy."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Editor, 10/02/2019 23:32

"@ @R1Racing71

Don't know why but - other than the obvious - but they made a serious effort.

Flew him (Rich Energy Man) out to Austin, best hotel, 5 star treatment.

The person putting the deal together was notified by text in the middle of the night to say Rich Energy had opted for Williams."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by @R1Racing71, 10/02/2019 22:30

"A poiniant response from our editor, which confirms what many of us have suspected for a while. I feel there maybe more nuggets of information here than contained in the original December piece.
If I may ask one more question, why were Williams entertaining this “sponsor” as a viable option?"

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3. Posted by Editor, 08/02/2019 15:15 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 08/02/2019 15:16)

"In all honesty, I wrote a piece in December but was advised to shelve it for legal reasons.

Whatever the truth of the matter in terms of Rich Energy - and I have had serious doubts from the outset - we do know that in part he has been "bankrolled" by David Sullivan and David Gold, among other things owners of West Ham football club.

I have tried to contact Mr Sullivan several times for comment but he did not get back to me.

If Rich Energy is a viable sponsor - we'll ignore the mysterious drink for now - all will soon become clear, for if there's no money forthcoming the logos will go missing just a few races into the season... if not earlier.

However, all that aside, Gene Haas is a canny business man and will not have gone into a deal with Rich Energy if he thought it was going to go sour.

Other the other hand... what if he knows it is going to go sour?

Haas didn't attend yesterday's livery unveiling, which in itself was odd given that the livery was unveiled on a 2018 car while images of the 2019 car - with the livery - were released simultaneously.

Anyone else notice that Haas actually started to get political late last year?

Perhaps, much like Max Noble's excellent piece, it has dawned on Mr Haas that fifth is as good as its going to get...

Would a sponsor letting him down offer him an ideal exit route.

Three teams entered F1 in 2010 on the promise of a budget cap and a more level playing field. All three have gone.

Now, slowly but surely Haas can see that the prospect of a budget cap remains a dream, while the playing field is the same as it ever way, skewered in favour of the big teams... and let's not forget that Ferrari now has a 'proper' sister team in the form of Alfa."

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4. Posted by bouncyt, 08/02/2019 12:11

"Rich Energy giving an exclusive distributor agreement in the UK to a brand new company with no track record and no evidence of any activity on the web no contact details seems an odd way to go about selling your 90 million cans. https://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Article/2018/11/09/Rock-Point-Leisure-and-Rich-Energy-sign-exclusive-UK-distribution-deal

Not much better in the US where they have one nightclub, one fitness studio and one kebab shop signed up - all in Indiana.

If you want a good giggle, read Vijay's review of Rich Energy on Amazon."

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5. Posted by jagger, 08/02/2019 11:22

"is Elvis dead ??? Oh No… and what's that about walking on the moon.. is he referring to Moonwalking ???

the guy has balls and brains and is just trying to create a demand by creating a hype. He knows he has a chance in a million but people like him make the world interesting. Do you all prefer bankers, lawyers, investment specialists and insurance agents ?? "

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6. Posted by @R1Racing71, 08/02/2019 10:46

"Serious question to those who actually know about these things if I may:
1) Have Haas been paid by RE yet.
2) If so where has this come from.
"

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7. Posted by Sennapod, 07/02/2019 23:48

"If you Google ‘Rich Energy’ and then look under the shopping results, there is not a single mention of this drink. It’s very very strange. Even in the 8 or so months since they stuck their heads above the Force India parapet, nothing has happened to raise their profile or substantiate their claims of ‘greatness’"

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8. Posted by Evercross, 07/02/2019 20:14

"I think F1 is about to see another intellectual property contention/litigation. The Rich Energy logo is a straight rip-off of the Whyte Bikes logo (Google it)with two little triangles added. Whytes predates Rich by 11 years if you go by the 'est MMX' on the can, or 13 years going by the blurb in Rich's Company info on their website.

The more you find out about Rich the more it stinks!

"

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9. Posted by GarH, 07/02/2019 19:44

"Twenty or thirty years ago people turned up out of the blue making claims about their background and wealth, back then, it was all but impossible to find out if they were telling tales, it's different now. We're in a joined up world of data, information can be found or bought. Despite this, William Storey and his product is a mystery. Why might that be?

I've watched a couple of interviews with him, held in a tea shop of all places. Storey spoke at great length about building a brand and comparing himself with well established business owners and their brands. The interviewer avoided mentioning that Amazon, Virgin, etc were not overnight successes. As for creating a brand image, I've not seen any using a Yeti.
"

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10. Posted by Fambank, 07/02/2019 19:19

"Sorry Chase, I was mistaken.

You are not the only idiot in F1."

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