Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Monster in play?

Stock in Hansen Natural (symbol HANS), the company that owns Monster Beverage Corp., got a huge boost a few days ago, on rumors that Coke had decided Monster was it, and was going to purchase the company.

Coke took the rare step of denying that it was looking into a Monster acquisition. And Monster coyly said, "We don't comment on rumors."

Would Monster-sponsored athletes like James 'The Rocket' Rispoli find that things really go better with Coke?  One thing's for sure; if Coke took over the brand, The Rocket -- and hundreds of other action-sports heroes -- would have to prove that the money Monster pumped into motorcycle racing, wake boarding, surfing, etc., was paying off in market share, sales volume, and profit.
It's hard to know what impact a change in ownership might have on Monster's action-sports-sponsorship-heavy marketing strategy -- but, if Coke did acquire them, you can be sure Monster's marketing department would come under pressure to prove an ROI on those sponsorships.

I guess it's entirely possible the rumors were started by some Hansen Natural exec who wanted to exercise his stock options and dump some shares, but sometimes where there's froth, there's carbonation.

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