AUSTIN, Texas — Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, the co-founder of vitality drink firm Crimson Bull and founder and proprietor of the Crimson Bull Formulation One racing staff, has died. He was 78.
Officers with the Crimson Bull racing staff at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, mentioned Saturday that Mateschitz had died.
There was no speedy phrase the place he died, or a reason behind demise.
Crimson Bull staff principal Christian Horner paid tribute to Mateschitz shortly earlier than its drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez bought of their automobiles for qualifying on the U.S. race.
“He’s the explanation that we’re right here. It was his ardour for Formulation One and his imaginative and prescient. He was all the time enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive on the great days and the unhealthy days,” Horner mentioned. “I really feel privileged to have identified him. For the entire staff now, regardless of the shock, we’ll do precisely what he would have needed, which is to go there along with his automobiles and do the easiest that we will, and attempt to shut this constructor’s championship (title) down.”
Crimson Bull driver Verstappen has already secured the drivers’ title for a second straight season.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of motor sports activities governing physique FIA, mentioned Mateschitz was “a towering determine in motor sport.”
“The ideas of all of the FIA household are along with his family members at the moment and he will probably be enormously missed.”
Mateschitz gained fame as the general public face of Crimson Bull, an Austrian-Thai conglomerate that claims 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 develop into in style 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 Crimson Bull, he considerably expanded his investments in sports activities. Crimson Bull now operates soccer golf equipment, ice hockey groups and F1 racing groups, and has contracts with a whole bunch of athletes in varied 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. Crimson Bull says Mateschitz labored on the method for 3 years earlier than the modified drink was launched beneath its new identify in his native Austria in 1987.
Beneath Mateschitz’ stewardship, Crimson Bull rapidly elevated its market share, first in Europe, then in the US, helped by advertising and marketing campaigns selling the drink’s claimed stimulating properties and in depth sponsorship agreements in motorsports, soccer, excessive sports activities and the music business.
The Crimson Bull Racing staff has loved success in Formulation 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 staff.
Crimson Bull operates soccer groups in prime divisions throughout Austria, Germany, Brazil and the US. The corporate began by shopping for Austrian membership SV Austria Salzburg in 2005 and rebranding it within the firm colours beneath the identify Crimson Bull Salzburg.
It repeated the transfer in Germany, the place it purchased fifth-tier membership SSV Markranstdt in 2009, rebranded it as RasenBallsport Leipzig, and financed its regular progress by the league system until it was promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016. German league laws prevented the corporate from naming the staff Crimson 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 Crimson Bull Media Home GmbH, is thought for selling right-wing provocative views.
Mateschitz purchased the Jaguar Racing staff from earlier proprietor Ford on the finish of 2004 and rebranded it as Crimson Bull for the 2005 season. Later that yr, he then additionally purchased Minardi and renamed it Toro Rosso, astutely utilizing the staff as a feed staff for Crimson Bull.
“It is necessary that we acknowledge every thing that he is contributed to the game,” Horner mentioned. “Not simply this sport, however it goes method, method past that.”
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