Backpedaling

Red Bull Tried to Make ‘Largest Donation on Kickstarter Ever’ but Kickstarter Shot Them Down

Update to this morning’s post about the motion-sensitive iPhone air guitar pick, which we thought for a moment had set a record with Red Bull’s $20,000 largesse constituting the largest single donation on Kickstarter yet, and worried that the indie champion was selling out.

Looks like our fears were unfounded. Red Bull wanted to make the largest Kickstarter donation ever, but Kickstarter’s Fred Benenson declined, saying the company isn’t “currently seeking partnerships,” according to the email exchange forwarded by air guitar pick co-creator Ronald Mannak, and “can’t offer any support or participation in media outreach.”

We thought Red Bull was claiming its donation was the largest ever; actually the project creators publicized that tagline. Mr. Mannak: “We exchanged emails with Fred Benenson at Kickstarter to give him a heads up that Red Bull was about to [donate] what we assumed to be the biggest Kickstarter donation ever. Since Fred didn’t correct us, I (not Red Bull) decided it was safe to claim the biggest single donation ever. Kickstarter hasn’t reached out to us since we announced the Red Bull donation.”

Kickstarter told Betabeat it has received larger lump sums before, but didn’t cite specifics.

Kickstarted

Red Bull Drops $20 K. on iPhone Air Guitar Pick in Failed Attempt to Make Largest Single Donation Ever

iphoneairguitar

UPDATE: We thought Red Bull was claiming its donation was the largest ever; actually the project creators came up with that tagline. Co-founder Ronald Mannak: “We exchanged emails with Fred Benenson at Kickstarter to give him a heads up that Red Bull was about to what we assumed to be the biggest Kickstarter donation ever. Since Fred didn’t correct us, I (not Red Bull) decided it was safe to claim the biggest single donation ever. Kickstarter hasn’t reached out to us since we announced the Red Bull donation.” Kickstarter told Betabeat it has received larger lump sums before but didn’t cite specifics. Red Bull wanted to make the largest Kickstarter donation ever, but Mr. Benenson declined, saying the company isn’t “currently seeking partnerships,” according to the email exchange Mr. Mannak forwarded to Betabeat.

ORIGINAL POST:

And yes, this is about an Apple accessory. Red Bull is putting $20,000 toward the Kickstarter campaign for the Air Guitar Move, a motion-sensitive guitar pick that turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a guitar. The pick comes with a “rhythm action game” and an app that allows for free play, allowing air musicians to instrumentlessly rock out while, weirdly, actually playing music. It’s like Guitar Hero meets Wii Tennis: Hold the iPhone in one hand like a guitar neck and the pick in the other (like a pick), strum the air and headbang accordingly. Congratulations! You’re a nerd.

Just kidding. If it were nerdy, why would it be sponsored by Red Bull, the energy drink that gives you wings, and when combined with vodka achieves the closest non-lethal approximation of 4loko?

Red Bull told the team behind the project that it wanted its $20,000 to be the largest single donation to Kickstarter of all time. Not so, says Kickstarter. “While the average pledge is $71 and the most common pledge is $25, several times a week individual backers will pledge $10,000. While the $20,000 recently pledged to the Air Guitar project was the largest pledge to that project, it was not the largest amount by any single backer since our launch,” Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler relayed via email. Read More