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ASU team moves on to European segment of 'Red Bull Can You Make It?' challenge

The group of students will travel to Europe to participate in the final competition in October

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A group of ASU students advances to the final round of participants for the "Red Bull Can You Make it Challenge," representing ASU in Europe. Illustration published on Sunday, April 5, 2020. 

Three members of ASU's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity will be moving on to compete in the European portion of the 'Red Bull Can You Make It?' challenge

The team, Mad Lads, went through a competitive selection process, which led them to qualify for the final challenge in Europe

Dash McDonald, a freshman studying business entrepreneurship, said he got involved because of his fraternity.

"My teammate tried last year and he didn't end up making it to Europe," McDonald said. "Another guy in my fraternity actually works for Red Bull, and he told me about it."

McDonald said this competition made him appreciate the brand even more. 

"I love the brand so much, and I've heard stories of people going on this adventure and actually making great connections with Red Bull," McDonald said. "It's also a once in a lifetime thing to do."

Overall, about 200 teams are chosen from around the world to compete in Europe.  

Andrew Dody, a junior studying marketing, said he is grateful to be given an opportunity to be part of this competition. 

"I have always been fascinated by Red Bull and their marketing strategies," Dody said. "And I would love to work for a company like that someday. The reason why I like them is for the high-paced adrenaline and adventure."

There are two rounds of selecting the winners for the competition in Europe. 

First, the team had to put together a minute-long video explaining why they want to compete in the challenge and upload it through YouTube or Vimeo to the contest website for the public to vote on, which took about two weeks. 

After public voting ends, the top 25% of videos that received the most votes become finalists and move to the second round. For two weeks, a panel of Red Bull representatives judged the videos for creativity, adventure factor, charm and energy of the team. 

Then, Red Bull judges chose 15  finalists from the U.S. specifically to compete in the final challenge, which includes roundtrip airfare to Europe. 

Jack Sandy, a junior studying communications, explained how the video-making process was tedious.

"You have to come up with an idea to convince them why Red Bull should choose you," Sandy said. "It was kind of like a little introduction about each of us." 

Since their video was chosen, McDonald said the team will be spending a week in Europe to compete in another challenge. The final challenge will happen in October, as it has been delayed due to COVID-19. 

"You have seven days to travel across Europe using only Red Bull as currency, meaning I don’t have a wallet, I can't use my money, and I also don't have a phone," McDonald said. 

For the challenge, the team needs to travel through Europe, reaching Berlin as fast as they can. In addition, each team is given 24 cans of Red Bull in which they have to trade for necessities, such as food, money and transportation. 

"You start out in one of the five locations: Amsterdam, Budapest, Barcelona, Milan or Copenhagen," McDonald said. 

All the teams will start at the same time, and each team will pass Red Bull checkpoints, which will award teams more Red Bull cans and points. 

During the challenge, Sandy said the team has to explain their situation to airports and restaurants in order to get transportation or to eat because contestants can only use Red Bull cans to trade in order to receive those services. 

"It's definitely one of those lifetime opportunities where you are never gonna be put in a scenario ever again, so you just got to take it head-on and enjoy it while you do it," Sandy said. 

The Mad Lads are looking forward to embracing the adventure and experience from the challenge in Europe. 

"I think a cool thing about Red Bull actually is even though they have their Red Bull drinks, they do so much more than selling a drink," McDonald said. "They have competitions where one day you can skydive and the next day play golf." 

Sandy said this challenge is allowing him to move out of his comfort zone. 

"It's definitely pushing my comfort zone because I potentially have to skydive,"  Sandy said. "I'm doing things that I normally wouldn't do." 

Reach the reporter at or follow @AnushaNat1 on Twitter.

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Anusha NatarajanDiversity Officer

Anusha Natarajan is in her third year at ASU studying sociology, history, and political science. She previously served as a reporter for the community and culture desk for four semester and helps with Spanish translation and oversees diversity efforts in the newsroom. 

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