F1 team: Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz dies aged 78

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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.

Officials from the Red Bull racing team at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, said on Saturday that Mateschitz had died.

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Mateschitz rose to fame as the public face of Red Bull, an Austrian-Thai conglomerate that claims to have sold nearly 10 billion cans of its caffeine and taurine drink in 172 countries around the world last year.

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Mateschitz not only helped the energy drink become popular around the world, but also built a sports, media, real estate and food empire around the brand.

With the growing success of Red Bull, he has greatly expanded his investments in the sport. Red Bull now operates football clubs, ice hockey teams and F1 racing teams, and has contracts with hundreds of athletes in various sports.

Mateschitz and Thai investor Chaleo Yoovidhya founded the company in 1984 after Mateschitz recognized the potential to market Krating Daeng – another energy drink created by Chaleo – to Western audiences. Red Bull says Mateschitz worked on the formula for three years before the modified drink was launched under its new name in his native Austria in 1987.

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Under Mateschitz’s leadership, Red Bull rapidly increased its market share, first in Europe and then in the United States, aided by marketing campaigns promoting the drink’s claimed stimulating properties and extensive sponsorship deals. in motorsports, football, extreme sports and the music industry.

The Red Bull Racing team enjoyed success in Formula 1, winning the constructors’ championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, while German driver Sebastian Vettel won four drivers’ championships in a row while signing with the crew.

Red Bull operates football teams in top divisions in Austria, Germany, Brazil and the United States. The company started by buying Austrian club SV Austria Salzburg in 2005 and rebranding it in company colors as Red Bull Salzburg.

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He repeated the move in Germany, where he bought fifth-tier club SSV Markranstädt in 2009, renamed it RasenBallsport Leipzig and funded its steady progression through the league system until it was promoted to the Bundesliga. in 2016. German league regulations prevented the company from naming the team Red Bull Leipzig – its name in German, RasenBallsport, means “Leipzig turf ball sport”, but the club simply refers to itself as RB Leipzig.

Mateschitz also made headlines for his populist views. He previously criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her handling of the refugee crisis in 2015-2016. Austrian TV channel Servus, owned by Red Bull Media House GmbH, is known for promoting provocative right-wing views.


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