Red Bull, Pabst Blue Ribbon & Liquid Death. Lifestyle Brand Marketing Brilliance with Steve “Stix” Nilsen

June 11, 2021 Gavin Jocius with Stix Nilsen Season 1 Episode 18
Red Bull, Pabst Blue Ribbon & Liquid Death. Lifestyle Brand Marketing Brilliance with Steve “Stix” Nilsen
Show Notes

Stix Nilsen has built an incredible career in lifestyle brand marketing. Starting in 2004, Stix was the Sport Marketing Manager for Red Bull North America, working with the biggest names in action sports. He then went on to work as the Lifestyle Marketing Manager for Pabst Blue Ribbon. The marketing campaigns done during that time helped revitalize the brand which has been around since the mid-1800s. During his tenure, the Pabst Brewing Company portfolio grew to almost $1 Billion in revenue. Stix has worked as a consultant for White Claw and is now the Vice President of Lifestyle Marketing for Liquid Death Mountain Water, a company that recently secured a Series C round of funding putting its total backing to date at $50 million. Liquid Death’s cap table has names on it like Tony Hawk, Wiz Khalifa, Steve Aoki and more. Stix and the team at Liquid Death continue to do extremely creative marketing and the company is quickly changing how water is marketed, sold and consumed.

Stix has a unique perspective on team building, grassroots marketing, branding and authenticity. He is a high energy and fast-moving marketing guru who cares about giving back to others. Stix has a BA in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Hamline University and is a mentor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.

This is a fun episode with some incredible insights for anyone interested in brand marketing, action sports or innovative start-ups looking to disrupt commodity markets with punk rock sensibilities. 

Discussion Topics:

(1:53) The return of summer music festivals.

(6:37) Red Bull’s entry into the North American market.

(13:52) Red Bull marketing the heads of its athletes.

(18:18) Red Bull’s attention to detail and cutting-edge events.

(27:37) Pabst Blue Ribbon 100x increase in sales through grassroots marketing.

(35:27) The ROI of long-term marketing efforts at Pabst.

(42:00) PBR’s outlook in a post-Pandemic world.

(50:00) Liquid Death’s approach to comedy and viral ads.

(58:56) Becoming a great brand while doing good.

(1:04:03) Raising $50M with celebrity investors.

(1:10:01) Building the coolest marketing team ever.

(1:15:54) Stix advice for others looking to get into action sports and marketing.