Go Fast Sports & Beverage Co.:
Staying Grounded by Going Fast
By ELIZABETH FUHRMAN
Troy Widgery, Go Fast
Sports & Beverage Co.’s founder, wanted to be a stuntman when he
was younger. As a natural step in this process, Widgery started skydiving
as part of his training.
Skydiving led to training with some World Class
Competitive Skydiving Teams, which became a fulltime position. In 1992,
Widgery held a spot on the Airmoves team that was training for the U.S.
Skydiving Championship. During a training session, the team’s plane
crashed, leaving 16 dead and Widgery as one of the few survivors. But the
team’s legacy goes on in the name of the apparel company and energy
drink Widgery created – Go Fast!
“We were training for Nationals, and our coach
would always tell us to ‘go slow’ on training jumps because
there was so much mind-to-body coordination in formation skydiving, and
everything happens while you’re falling at 120 miles per hour,”
Widgery explains. “My teammate and friend James would look at me as
we were about to jump from the plane and somewhat mischievously say,
Denver-based Go Fast Sports & Beverage originally
began in 1996 as an apparel company, selling branded apparel and
accessories for the skydiving industry. Go Fast’s apparel since has
grown to a broader market, offering a line that appeals to athletes of all
Through the apparel company and working with the
athletes, Widgery realized the need for a “good tasting, non-jittery,
endurance-based energy drink.” After working with a food chemist and
flavor expert, the company launched Go Fast! Energy Drink in 2001.
Widgery never intended to start a beverage company.
The drink just evolved from the lifestyle needs of his Go Fast! clientele,
and these demands kept a process going to continually improve upon Go Fast!
Energy Drink’s formula. For example, the company recently added
ribose to the product. The company added this ingredient, it says, because
ribose is essential to regenerating adenosine triposphate (ATP) – the
energy of the body, which decreases during exercise.
“If we discover a better ingredient, we are not
afraid to tweak the formula,” Widgery says. “Most other brands
have had the same formula since their inception, but not Go Fast! We are
willing to adjust our formula to always have the best as technology
develops, and we are able to maintain the smooth Go Fast! taste.”
Go Fast! finds itself in a very lively niche, which
keeps its sales growing. Go Fast! Energy Drink’s target consumer is
someone looking for an effective, consistent and sustained energy boost
without the high sugar content. Go Fast! uses “natural energy
ingredients,” Widgery says, and not high fructose corn syrup,
aspartame or preservatives.
Company employees “live the brand” just
like its customers by participating in everything from skydiving, Ironman
triathlons, mountain biking and motocross to BASE jumping, where in order
for a jumper to attain this title they must jump from a building, antenna,
span (bridge) and earth (cliff) (BASE). Even Go Fast! Energy Drink’s
distributors participate in similar events, bringing the beverage to market
in a unique way.
“Go Fast is dedicated to the support of
consumers who have a passion for living life a little on the edge by
creating brand name apparel, products and events that speak to the
audience’s adventurous lifestyle and attitude,” Widgery says.
Keeping with Go Fast’s adventurous nature, the
company added a camouflage can last year, which won the Award of Excellence
at the 9th Annual International Metal Decorators Conference in the
Two-Piece category. Go Fast! Energy Drink originally launched in an
8.4-ounce can, adding Go Fast! Light in the 8.4-ounce can soon after. This
year, Go Fast! added both Go Fast! and Go Fast! Light in an 11.9 ounce size
to be distributed right alongside the original size.
The company also introduced Go Fast Newsline – a
consumer newsletter that highlights Go Fast! athletes, training tips, event
news and the Go Fast! apparel line.
This year marks the third time Go Fast will sponsor
the Royal Gorge Go Fast Games in Cañon City, Colo. Held in October,
the extreme sports event features world class BASE jumpers for three full
days of exhibition and competition jumps from the Royal Gorge Bridge
– the world’s highest suspension bridge. The event also
includes parachute exhibitions, BMX exhibitions and speed climbing on the
1,000-feet canyon walls.
“It is very risky being associated with all of
these ‘on the edge’ events, but it is what Go Fast! is
about,” Widgery says.
In addition to a new energy product in the works,
Widgery has an exciting project about to take off. He has spent the past
two years developing a long flying jetpack similar to what one would find
in a James Bond movie. “I developed and built a jetpack, which Go
Fast! will be able to use on an upcoming U.S. tour to be able to introduce
people to the brand in true Go Fast! style,” he says. The biggest challenge Go Fast! Energy Drink will face in the
future is finding good distribution partners to help it grow. “Go
Fast! is in a unique position because unlike the beverage giants, we have a
unique story,” Widgery believes. “The Go Fast! brand and Go
Fast! products are authentic to what Go Fast! is about and where it comes
from. It has a history as an independent brand.” BI