A group of University of Utah students was selected as finalists in Red Bull’s “Can You Make It?” competition, a challenge that gives college students from around the world the opportunity to travel through Europe using only Red Bull energy drinks as currency. But after being voted in as a finalist, The Serial Thrillers, which consisted of U students Brennan Degen, Sam Goodhue and Cam Taylor, did not make it to the last round.
In April, the chosen groups will fly to one of five European cities — Madrid, Rome, Budapest, Stockholm or Manchester. College students qualified for the challenge by forming a team of three friends and creating a one-minute-long video exhibiting their sense of adventure and explaining why they should be chosen to participate. The public voted on which teams should move on to become finalists. Then, a panel of judges selected the winners who would participate in the quest from among the teams with the most votes.
Goodhue recalled their experience making the video as reaffirming the trio’s ability to work as a team.
“Our first task was to make a video displaying how we as a team could take on any challenge that Red Bull presented to us,” Goodhue said. “The video itself was a challenge. Brennan developed a script and editing plans for the video and we all worked as a team to get it done before the deadline.”
The selected teams will exchange their cash, cards, and phones for 24 cans of Red Bull and a smartphone with unlimited data to help accomplish tasks on the way to the destination city, Amsterdam. Teams will have one week to make it to Amsterdam with the support of their social media followers, friends and family back home. Each team will determine its own route as it moves through checkpoints in European cities, completing as many tasks from its Adventure List as possible and posting photos and videos of the journey.
To get through the journey, teams must use bartering skills to trade Red Bull for places to sleep, food and transportation at each location. Every challenge is designed to test competitors’ bodies and minds as they creatively work to achieve physically demanding tasks. After successfully completing a challenge, each team will receive more cans of Red Bull.
Although The Serial Thrillers won’t be competing in Europe, they took value in each person’s talents that were brought to the table.
“Our team ha[d] a wide range of talents both socially and athletically,” Degen said. “When competing in a worldwide challenge for Red Bull, it helps to have such a range. We [were] also very empathetic people which [gave] us the ability to see things from others’ perspectives.”
All in all, the team members enjoyed the experience.
“I never expected this competition to be such an enriching experience,” Goodhue said. “I now feel much more confident with my decision to declare as a marketing major. Even after all of the cool things I learned and experienced from this competition, I still consider my team’s stronger friendship to be the most important takeaway.”