Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz of Austria dies aged 78

Founder of the energy drink company Red Bull, the Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, as secret as his firm was famous, especially in the world of sports marketing, died at the age of 78.

« Dietrich Mateschitz passed away today, » the company’s management wrote in an email to employees on Saturday, expressing « sadness » and « gratitude for what he accomplished. »

According to the Austrian agency APA, he died of cancer.

Born on May 20, 1944, Dietrich Mateschitz had created Red Bull – “red bull” in French – in 1984, after discovering the beverage at the bar of a Hong Kong hotel.

This shy personality was considered in 2022 by the magazine Forbes as Austria’s first fortune, estimated at 27.4 billion euros.

The entrepreneur had bet on sports sponsorship so as not to depend solely on the income generated by his energy drink as much as to offer him unparalleled exposure.

In thirty years, the company, which has established its sponsorship policy with extreme sports, has become an essential partner in world sport.

From the high-flying dive (cliffdiving) to free fall in a wingsuit (wingsuit) to kitesurfing (kitesurfing) and the paroxysm of the stratospheric freefall jump during which the Austrian Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier in 2012, many extraordinary feats have been associated with the mark of the two winged bulls.

Red Bull is also committed to two key disciplines in world sport, Formula 1 (F1) and football.

Dutch F1 team driver Max Verstappen is world champion for the second consecutive year.

In 2005, Red Bull bought the football club of the Austrian city of Salzburg, then that of Leipzig in Germany. Both clubs have won trophies thanks to the brand’s significant investments.

Red Bull also sponsors the athletes themselves, all disciplines combined. Among them is the famous Brazilian footballer Neymar, whom Red Bull regularly stages through miniseries.

« One of a kind »

Christian Horner, boss of the Red Bull team in F1, reacted immediately from Austin (Texas) where the United States Grand Prix is ​​held on Sunday. « It’s very, very sad. What a great man. It is one of a kind. What he has accomplished and what he has done for so many people around the world is unparalleled,” he told reporters.

“A lot of us have to be grateful to him for the opportunities he provided, the vision he had, his strength of character. And never be afraid to pursue your dreams and achieve them,” he added.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali also said he was « deeply saddened », paying tribute to « a highly respected and much loved member of the Formula 1 family ».

« He was an incredible visionary entrepreneur and a man who helped transform our sport and create the world famous Red Bull brand, » he said.

The Red Bull energy drink was born during one of his many business trips as the marketing director of a German cosmetics company when he was served a sugary drink common in Asia in an upscale bar in Hong Kong. .

Impressed by the drink’s apparent ability to help him overcome his jet lag, Mateschitz decided to team up with the Thai businessman who developed the drink, Chaleo Yoovidhya, to found Red Bull in 1984.

Based in a verdant valley in the Alps, in Fuschl am See, the drink slowly but surely conquered Western taste buds, and the brand grew worldwide thanks to its shrewd marketing.

Today, the Red Bull company employs more than 13,000 people in 172 countries, generates a turnover of approximately 8 billion euros and sells nearly 10 billion cans per year.

Dietrich Mateschitz owned the paradise island of Laucala in Fiji and numerous properties in Austria.

Never married, always in jeans, graying hair, Dietrich Mateschitz will almost never granted interviews to journalists. We just know he had a son.


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