The epic journey of Red Bull Mississippi Grind involved a 195ft floating skatepark barge, 1700 miles of the mighty Mississippi River and just as many unexpected encounters. We stopped in four major cities, endured the wrath of river pirates, and watched legendary skaters carve alongside local riders.
SKATE THE BIG MUDDY
The spark for Mississippi Grind came from a small crew of six skaters with a passion for creating action sport films. While wrapping up a session along the Mississippi River, a giant barge went cruising by—the crew imagined floating down the river like Huckleberry Finn. Red Bull has always been about giving people wings to make their ideas soar, so when Red Bull approached us about activating this event within the skateboarding community, we knew an incredible experience awaited.
FLOATING AN AMBITIOUS IDEA
Constructing a 6,825 sq. ft buoyant skating mecca and producing the dream of six skaters was an incredible start, but the story needed another layer. Pulling it all together meant creating custom print ads for each city and making stops along the way to promote the event. By adding skate competitions in four port cities we built anticipation for skaters and fans alike. Partnerships with Converse and Skateboard Magazine got the attention of professional skaters and working with Living Lands & Waters offered an opportunity to help clean up one of our most prized waterways and expanded our audience beyond diehard fans of the sport. Following all of this up with a 45-minute documentary for Fuel TV and a four-part Red Bull Adventure Channel series helped to highlight this great month-long adventure to people living outside of the Mississippi’s path.
FROM THE MINNEAPPLE TO THE BIG EASY
Mississippi Grind culminated with an amazing weekend in New Orleans. 2,700 fans descended upon the Historic VIP Paddleboat viewing area as a 10-piece brass band blew their horns and Mannie Fresh worked the 1s and 2s. The ultimate success? Working with the City of New Orleans to convert the barge into a skatepark—a welcome addition to a city whose recreational budget was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
A HIGH TIDE EXPERIENCE
The entire experience was a success—from the qualifiers beforehand to the showcases when the barge arrived and every project in-between. From the source of the river all the way down to the mouth, Mississippi Grind realized the dreams of six ambitious young men and left a lasting impression on everyone in it’s glorious path.