Promote yourself and advertise right, and good things will happen.
That statement certainly holds true for UWM students Patrick Ruhland, Dan Frederick and Charlie O’Dwyer, who submitted a video promoting Red Bull for a trip to Europe for the “Can You Make It?” challenge. The trio, nicknamed the Balboa Brothers, gathered enough online votes (roughly 3,865, according to Frederick) to have its name entered into a pool in which they were randomly selected to earn the trip and participate in the journey.
“So excited,” said Ruhland regarding the trip. “We’ve never been out of the country yet.”
Despite the team being selected at random by a group of judges, they certainly earned their way to consideration.
“I’ve never worked this hard for something,” Frederick said.
“We thought we’d only have to get like 500 (votes) or something,” Ruhland added. “But we saw all the other groups and we just had to like…”
Step it up would have been an appropriate ending. Frederick made flyers promoting Balboa Brothers, contacted Milwaukee media outlets, and made the most of social media. In addition, O’Dwyer cited the team’s strong support system of friends and family.
“I’m surprised at how much people really jumped onto this,” Frederick said. “I put a post out that we won that said like ‘Thank you, everybody’, and it got like 500 likes. I get like maybe 25 on a picture. People have been crazy about this. It’s exciting for us, but it seems like other people are really excited too, which is awesome.”
The journey will begin in Prague, Czech Republic and will finish in Paris, France. There are six checkpoints in between the two cities, which will be revealed to Balboa Brothers when they get to Prague. All three of the team members are looking forward to an enthralling experience.
“We’ve always been travelers, but this is something that’s completely new,” Frederick said. “Different part of the world, meet new people, just gain some knowledge out of that.”
“I just want to see a different country, no doubt,” Ruhland added. “Different culture, different experience, it’s gonna be unreal.”
Barter skills will be extremely important for the trio, as they will not have money nor communication devices. They will only be allowed to use cans of Red Bull as currency to earn food, lodging, and other needs. However, they will receive a device from a tour guide in order to take pictures and promote on social media. Frederick stated that he and O’Dwyer went on a road trip last year for spring break and had only enough money for gas, so they had a propane grill and their own food, along with sleeping in a car on the side of the highway instead of a hotel. He said that the experience was great and that the Europe trip is somewhat similar in that regard. In addition, Frederick has a quirky lifetime goal that he probably will achieve on the trip.
“I’ve always wanted to hitchhike, and I kind of have to for this, so it’s really exciting,” he said, eliciting laughter from Ruhland and O’Dwyer.
Balboa Brothers heard about the competition through a sponsored Red Bull post on Facebook. Ruhland was inspired by the idea, figured it was a great opportunity and contacted his fellow team members. And, as it turns out, he was right. Here is another look at their video that won them the journey.