Victor Ian LLC, a military gaming and media company based in Colorado Springs, Colo., has announced that it will sponsor the Red Bull Rising blog starting October 2012, with the objective of expanding the blog’s coverage of military writing as a vocation.
The company publishes Lanterloon, an eclectic lifestyle, technology, and military blog; has a physical storefront called “Dragons and Dragoons” located in Colorado Springs; and conducts “Sangria Summit”-brand workshops and conferences for military writers.
Randy “Sherpa” Brown has written the Red Bull Rising blog since December 2009, when he was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan with the Iowa National Guard’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry “Red Bull” Division. He originally wrote under a pseudonym of “Charlie Sherpa,” in part to avoid conflicts between his military and civilian roles. In his military career, Brown reported “lessons-learned” to internal military audiences. Brown is now retired from the military.
In his civilian career, Brown is a freelance magazine writer and editor with specialties in architecture, history, and technology. Much of his work involves community-building and “how-to” journalism.
“With Sangria Summit events, our purpose is to provide both aspiring and established military writers the inspiration, motivation, and tools they need to succeed,” says James Burns, co-founder of Victor Ian LLC. “In the Red Bull Rising blog, we saw a potential partner given its past ‘writing about military writing,’ as well as the author’s digging in and finding out what veterans, service personnel, and mil-families are doing and thinking.”
The inaugural Sangria Summit conference was held in Denver, September 2012. Tentative plans have been announced for other Sangria Summit events in Colorado Springs, Colo., in May 2013 and October 2013. The May event is most likely going to be a writers’ workshop, and the October event a larger-scale conference.
Brown says the sponsorship will allow him to build on the blog’s long-standing mission: “To remember, support, and celebrate citizen-soldiers past and present, as well as their families.”
“Documenting and sharing one’s military experiences—whether for yourself, your family, or a wider audience—has always been part of the Red Bull Rising mission,” he says. “This new relationship will allow me to expand the blog’s coverage, and to make it more concrete: How to improve yourself as a military writer, or find new markets or styles in which to work.”
According to a new “Sponsors” page on the Red Bull Rising blog, “Sponsored posts will always be clearly identified. Sponsors do not have editorial input toward or review of Red Bull Rising content prior to publication.