AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, the co-founder of vitality drink firm Crimson Bull and founder and proprietor of the Crimson Bull Components One racing crew, has died. He was 78.
Officers with the Crimson Bull racing crew at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, stated Saturday that Mateschitz had died.
There was no rapid phrase the place he died, or a reason behind loss of life.
Crimson Bull crew principal Christian Horner paid tribute to Mateschitz shortly earlier than its drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez obtained of their automobiles for qualifying on the U.S. race.
“He’s the rationale that we’re right here. It was his ardour for Components One and his imaginative and prescient. He was at all times enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive on the great days and the dangerous days,” Horner stated. “I really feel privileged to have identified him. For the entire crew now, regardless of the shock, we’re going to do precisely what he would have needed, which is to go there together with his automobiles and do the easiest that we are able to, 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, stated Mateschitz was “a towering determine in motor sport.”
“The ideas of all of the FIA household are together with his family members right now and he shall be drastically missed.”
Mateschitz gained fame as the general public face of Crimson Bull, an Austrian-Thai conglomerate that claims it bought almost 10 billion cans of its caffeine and taurine-based drink in 172 international locations worldwide final 12 months.
Mateschitz not solely helped the vitality drink turn out to be common 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 lots of of athletes in numerous 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 components for 3 years earlier than the modified drink was launched underneath its new title in his native Austria in 1987.
Below 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 intensive sponsorship agreements in motorsports, soccer, excessive sports activities and the music business.
The Crimson Bull Racing crew has loved success in Components 1, successful the constructors’ championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, whereas German driver Sebastian Vettel gained 4 drivers’ championships in row whereas signed to the crew.
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 underneath the title Crimson Bull Salzburg.
It repeated the transfer in Germany, the place it purchased fifth-tier membership SSV Markranstädt in 2009, rebranded it as RasenBallsport Leipzig, and financed its regular progress by way of the league system until it was promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016. German league laws prevented the corporate from naming the crew Crimson Bull Leipzig – its title 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 understood for selling right-wing provocative views.
Mateschitz purchased the Jaguar Racing crew from earlier proprietor Ford on the finish of 2004 and rebranded it as Crimson Bull for the 2005 season. Later that 12 months, he then additionally purchased Minardi and renamed it Toro Rosso, astutely utilizing the crew as a feed crew for Crimson Bull.
“It’s necessary that we acknowledge every thing that he’s contributed to the game,” Horner stated. “Not simply this sport, but it surely goes means, means past that.”