Risk is sky high
for all competitors at the Red Bull Rampage, and only the top finishers receive compensation for their performances. Traditionally, freeride competitions have been Winner-Take-All formats, but it could be argued that the losers are as important to the show as the victorious few who walk away with the paychecks. Competitors' crashes and failed runs add excitement and drama to the show, and more importantly, they form a framework from which viewers and judges can assess the difficulty and creativity of the winning athletes' efforts.
Helicopter operators, cinematographers, announcers, caterers, and production staff are paid well for their services and it is laughable that any of those would be required to put their lives on the line to ensure that the event achieves the desired goals for peak views and product placement. The riders do lay their lives down for the competition, they do it for free, and they pay their own ways for that opportunity. Do or die, the promotors cash in on every rider's performance.
The logic here is that all competitors play crucial roles in the Red Bull Rampage competition. Their teams build the jump lines. The riders deliver their performances and even double as cinematographers, because they are required to hand over their POV footage to Red Bull. That footage, as well as the stills and video productions that are produced from the events, automatically belongs to Red Bull and will be viewed by millions of fans for years continuing after the competition is staged. In all fairness, every competitor who qualifies and puts in one or both runs should be amply compensated as a professional performer for participating in the Red Bull Circus - or any FMB event for that matter. It's a sin that they aren't already.
Red Bull Weighs In:Pinkbike received a response to this poll from Red Bull Media House, saying that for this year's Rampage, they have increased the pro purse, and added free camping and concessions for the dig teams. I'd say that its a good first step. Now, at least the finalists will be able to cover food and fuel and basic expenses. Here's Red Bull's updated prize list for the upcoming Rampage. - RC
• The prize purse has increased by $25K from 2014 to 2015
• New for 2015, the People’s Choice Winner will also receive a brand new Polaris RZR
• In the past, Rampage paid down to the Top 12 competitors, but this year has decided to pay out the Top 24. That means anyone who makes the finals will walk away with at least $1,000.
• The Top 10 finalists from last year’s event, as well as the Top 10 riders currently in FMB points, have their hotel costs covered for the week.
• Concessions have even been made for the dig teams where free camping has been provided for them, relieving costs previously incurred by athletes or the diggers themselves.
• Diggers receive free lunch all week.
• A welcome dinner and party for athletes and diggers, as well as a closing party, is provided.
"We have made great strides this year in trying to support the athletes in addition to the higher purse prize. In the past, it was difficult for lodging and hospitality for the dig crews, but we made sure to make good on that this year and provide them with amenities to help ease the burden on the riders and their crew. "