AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of energy drink company Red Bull and founder and owner of the Red Bull Formula One racing team, has died. he was 78 years old.
At the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Red Bull Racing Team officials said Saturday that Mateschitz had died.
There was no direct word on where he died or the cause of death.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who oversees motorsport, said Mateschitz was “an outstanding figure in motorsport”.
“At this time, the thoughts of the entire FIA family will be with his loved ones and mourning his passing.”
Mateschitz rose to prominence as the public face of the Austrian-Thai conglomerate Red Bull, which sold nearly 10 billion cans of caffeine and taurine-based beverages in 172 countries around the world last year.
Mateschitz not only helped energy drinks become popular around the world, but he also built a sports, media, real estate, and gastronomy empire around the brand.
Red Bull’s success has led him to significantly expand his investment in the sport. Red Bull currently operates a football club, an ice hockey team, Formula 1 racing his team, and has signed hundreds of athletes from various sports.
Mateschitz and Thai investor Chaleo Youvidya founded the company in 1984 after Mateschitz recognized the potential to market Klatin Daeng (another energy drink developed by Chaleo) to Western audiences. Did. According to Red Bull, Mateschitz worked on the formula for three years until 1987, when the improved drink was launched under a new name in his native Austria.
Under Mateschitz’s management, Red Bull rapidly increased its market share, first in Europe and then in the United States. This is thanks to marketing campaigns promoting the drink’s claimed stimulant properties and extensive sponsorship deals in motorsports, football, extreme sports and the music industry.
The Red Bull Racing Team has enjoyed success in Formula 1, winning the Constructors’ Championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Meanwhile, German driver Sebastian Vettel won his championship four times in a row while under contract with the team.
Red Bull operates football teams in the top divisions of Austria, Germany, Brazil and the United States. The company began by acquiring Austrian club SV Austria Salzburg in 2005 and rebranding it in company colors under the name Red Bull his Salzburg.
The same move was repeated in Germany, acquiring a fifth club, SSV Markranstedt, in 2009, rebranding as RasenBallsport Leipzig, and funding steady progress through the league system until promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016. provided. From naming the team Red Bull Leipzig – its name in German, RasenBallsport means ‘glass ball sports Leipzig’, but the club calls itself he RB Leipzig.
Mateschitz also made headlines for his populist views. He has previously criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for handling the refugee crisis in 2015-16, and his Servus TV station in Austria, owned by Red Bull Media House GmbH, criticized right-wing provocative views. known to spread
Mateschitz bought the Jaguar Racing Team from former owner Ford in late 2004 and renamed it Red Bull for the 2005 season. Later that year, he also acquired Minardi and cleverly used the team as a feed team for Red Bull, renaming it Toro Rosso.
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