Coolers filled to the brim with Red Bull energy drinks flanked the walls of Breslin Student Events Center as the caffeine magnate hosted a paper airplane competition Wednesday.
Red Bull’s newest Global Student Project is called “Red Bull Paper Wings.” It is a global paper airplane throwing contest for longest distance and longest airtime.
The scene was hectic, with dozens of haphazardly constructed planes whizzing overhead, as students tested their designs. “Mine kinda sucks,” joked MSU junior Hunter Reilly. “I wanted to build a ring, but I don’t know how to,” he said, bursting into laughter.
“The ring,” a Tik-Tok famous paper plane design, consisting of a specifically shaped ring of paper supposedly has superior distance-flying characteristics.
Students attending the event have the opportunity to fly their way to a national tournament. The nationals victor will represent the U.S in a global competition held in Red Bull’s Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria. The winners of each category, distance, air-time, and acrobatics, will earn a flight experience with the Flying Bulls, Red Bull’s aerial acrobatics team.
Those who attended Wednesday’s event seemed unaware of the global competition and were instead competing for a vague Red Bull sponsored tailgate event next fall — a prize not mentioned in Red Bull’s online press release.
“I’m here to win the tailgate for my business sorority,” said Michigan State sophomore Regan Peregard, a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi sorority. Reilly, dissatisfied with his paper-based aeronautic engineering skills, was also competing for this prize.
Other students didn’t attend for competitive reasons and just enjoyed the event. “I was sitting in the STEM lab and some Red Bull rep came up to me and told me about this paper airplane thing. He gave me a Red Bull and I figured it’d be cool so I came. It’s a nice break from studying. The free drinks are nice too,” said MSU sophomore Carter Beck, gesturing toward the slim silver can in his right hand.
Red Bull’s brand manager said the company expects to bring more events to MSU soon, just not this semester — however, students may see some Red Bull reps handing out their signature energy drinks come finals season.