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, ‘Go Fast!’”
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 kinds.
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