AUSTIN, Texas –
Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, the co-founder of vitality drink firm Red Bull and founder and proprietor of the Red Bull Formula One racing team, has died. He was 78.
Officials with the Red Bull racing team at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, mentioned Saturday that Mateschitz had died.
Mateschitz gained fame as the general public face of Red Bull, an Austrian-Thai conglomerate that says it offered almost 10 billion cans of its caffeine and taurine-based drink in 172 international locations worldwide final yr.
Mateschitz not solely helped the vitality drink turn out to be well-liked all over the world, but additionally constructed up a sports activities, media, actual property and gastronomy empire across the model.
With the rising success of Red Bull, he considerably expanded his investments in sports activities. Red Bull now operates soccer golf equipment, ice hockey groups and F1 racing groups, and has contracts with lots of of athletes in numerous sports activities.
Mateschitz and Thai investor Chaleo Yoovidhya based the corporate in 1984 after Mateschitz acknowledged the potential in advertising and marketing Krating Daeng — one other vitality drink created by Chaleo — for a western viewers. Red Bull says Mateschitz labored on the system for 3 years earlier than the modified drink was launched beneath its new identify in his native Austria in 1987.
Under Mateschitz’ stewardship, Red Bull shortly elevated its market share, first in Europe, then within the United States, helped by advertising and marketing campaigns selling the drink’s claimed stimulating properties and intensive sponsorship agreements in motorsports, soccer, excessive sports activities and the music trade.
The Red Bull Racing team has loved success in Formula 1, profitable the constructors’ championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, whereas German driver Sebastian Vettel gained 4 drivers’ championships in row whereas signed to the team.
Red Bull operates soccer groups in prime divisions throughout Austria, Germany, Brazil and the United States. The firm began by shopping for Austrian membership SV Austria Salzburg in 2005 and rebranding it within the firm colours beneath the identify Red Bull Salzburg.
It repeated the transfer in Germany, the place it purchased fifth-tier membership SSV Markranst├ñdt in 2009, rebranded it as RasenBallsport Leipzig, and financed its regular progress via the league system until it was promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016. German league rules prevented the corporate from naming the team Red Bull Leipzig — its identify in German, RasenBallsport, means “grass ball sport Leipzig” however the membership simply refers to itself as RB Leipzig.
Mateschitz additionally made headlines for his populist views. He beforehand criticized German chancellor Angela Merkel for her dealing with of the refugee disaster over 2015-16. The Austrian Servus TV station, owned by Red Bull Media House GmbH, is thought for selling right-wing provocative views.