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Saturday, February 24, 2024

NY Red Bulls Co-Founder Dietrich Mateschitz Passes at Age 78

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Mateschitz fueled the energy drink movement into the United States. An Austrian born citizen, he found energy drinks when traveling to Asia in the 1980s. 

Coupled with the notorious energy drink, Mateschitz was also involved in the founding of sports franchises. Most notably, he helped start the New York Red Bulls soccer team as well as Red Bull racing in the Formula One circuit. 

The New York Red Bulls, formerly known as the Metro Stars, have finished as high as runner-up in the MLS cup just once in 2008. They have captured the Supporter’s Shield, given to the best regular season soccer team in MLS, 3 times, and have finished runner-up in the U.S. Open Cup once under the Red Bull brand. 

On the race track, Red Bull has carried much more success. In 2004, Mateschitz bought the failing Jaguar Racing team from Ford and rebranded it Red Bull Racing. In 2009, Sebastian Vettel won the Chinese Grand Prix setting off a string of victories for Red Bull. 

Vettel would go on to win the Drivers’ Championship in 2010 and Red Bull captured the Formula One World Constructors’ Championship. They’d go on to win both championships each time over the next 3 years. 

They’d win another Formula Driver’s Championship in 2021 with Max Verstappen behind the wheel. Verstappen would retain this year, a nice way to send Mateschitz off into the afterlife. 

It all started with a sports drink. So much success has come of it in the short-by-comparison time it’s been around in the United States. 

Mateschitz also dabbled in ice hockey in Germany and his home country of Austria. He also had a few soccer clubs under the Red Bull name across the pond. 

Fittingly, with the energy drink, Red Bull was partnered with a lot of adrenaline and extreme sports like surfing, skydiving, cliff diving, mountain biking and motocross. 

In 2012, Red Bull sponsored a high altitude skydiving exploration by Felix Baumgartner. He fell from the edge of space all the way back down to Earth safely and it proved to be a turning point in the marketing of extreme sports for Red Bull. 

There are many like it, such as Monster and C4, but none will ever equal the notoriety and success that Red Bull has had in the sports marketing industry. Even with Mateschitz now gone, the legacy of Red Bull will live on forever. 

Dietrich Mateschitz leaves behind his son, Mark, and an eternal legacy of greatness. He gave everyone their wings— now, he finally gets his. 

The Messenger expresses their condolences to his family and friends, wishing that he may rest in peace.