Big Red Acquires HyDrive Energy

Also partnering with 20th Century Fox on A Good Day to Die Hard promo

Published in CSP Daily News

AUSTIN, Texas -- Big Red Inc. recently acquired HyDrive Energy, marketer of better-for-you energy drinks. The sale adds HyDrive Energy drinks to the Big Red portfolio that includes All Sport isotonic, NuGrape, Thomas Kemper, Nesbitt's and other beverage lines.

"The addition of HyDrive Energy is an important part of our growth strategy," said Gary Smith, CEO of Big Red. "We believe the brand has excellent opportunities for growth and development. We recognize the work that Mike Weinstein, Brian O'Byrne and Leo Novosel have done to build this brand. They will continue to play an important role in maximizing the potential for HyDrive."

Introduced in 2006, HyDrive has 30 calories per bottle. It is available in convenience and retail stores all across the country.

HyDrive Energy LLC was founded in 2006 by beverage executives Weinstein--former CEO of Snapple Beverages--and Brian O'Byrne--former CEO of Yoo-hoo/Orangina. The company is based in Rye, N.Y., and is focused on bringing healthier energy drinks to market. HyDrive products are primarily distributed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, Texas, and Polar Beverages, Worcester, Mass., both of which have a minority interest in the brand.

In other company news, Big Red is partnering with 20th Century Fox on the Feb. 14 release of A Good Day to Die Hard, the new installment of the Die Hard movie franchise.

Big Red and Fox have built a comprehensive 360-degree marketing campaign to promote both the film and Big Red. Big Red kicked off their "Zero 2 A Hero" promotion with millions of special-edition Die Hard-themed packages, prize giveaways and a grand prize contest--the Ultimate Die Hard Stunt Trip Adventure.

"We've been working with the team at Fox, our bottlers, and selected retailers to create an exciting promotion for fans of both Big Red and the Die Hard franchise," said Thomas Oh, Big Red's senior vice president of marketing.

During the promotion, Big Red and Big Red Zero two-liter and 20-ounce bottles and 12 packs will feature A Good Day to Die Hard and direct consumers to a custom microsite, http://www.Zero2AHero.com, where they can enter the contest. One winner and a guest will travel to Las Vegas for two days of "adrenaline-pumping" experiences similar to the stunts in the Die Hard movies. Entrants will describe in a short essay why they should go from "Zero 2 A Hero" and win the trip. The company will select five finalists to submit videos, and consumers will watch and vote for their favorite. The finalist with the most votes wins the stunt trip.

In addition to the Stunt Trip, starting in February, consumers will have the opportunity to win thousands of Die Hard-related prizes online.

Big Red has partnered with a select number of retailers across the country to give away thousands of tickets to advance screenings of A Good Day to Die Hard in 12 markets. Big Red and Die Hard displays and point of sale will direct consumers to text retailer-specific code words to enter.

Austin, Texas-based Big Red is one of the top 10 beverage companies in North America with a history dating back to 1937. Along with Big Red, recognized as the No. 1 selling red soda, Big Red Inc. also markets beverage brands All Sport, NuGrape, Nesbitt's, Thomas Kemper, Big Red Jak Energy, GPure Energy, VIB and SANS Soda. The company's products are distributed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Pepsi Beverages Co., as well as other independent bottlers and wholesalers.

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