AUSTIN, Texas — Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, the co-founder of power drink firm Purple Bull and founder and proprietor of the Purple Bull Method One racing crew, has died. He was 78.
Officers with the Purple Bull racing crew at the USA Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, stated Saturday that Mateschitz had died.
Mateschitz gained fame as the general public face of Purple 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 yr.
Mateschitz not solely helped the power drink develop into in style world wide, but additionally constructed up a sports activities, media, actual property and gastronomy empire across the model.
With the rising success of Purple Bull, he considerably expanded his investments in sports activities. Purple Bull now operates soccer golf equipment, ice hockey groups and F1 racing groups, and has contracts with a whole lot of athletes in varied sports activities.
Mateschitz and Thai investor Chaleo Yoovidhya based the corporate in 1984 after Mateschitz acknowledged the potential in advertising Krating Daeng — one other power drink created by Chaleo — for a western viewers. Purple Bull says Mateschitz labored on the system for 3 years earlier than the modified drink was launched below its new identify in his native Austria in 1987.
Below Mateschitz’ stewardship, Purple Bull shortly elevated its market share, first in Europe, then in the USA, helped by advertising campaigns selling the drink’s claimed stimulating properties and in depth sponsorship agreements in motorsports, soccer, excessive sports activities and the music trade.
The Purple Bull Racing crew has loved success in Method 1, profitable the constructors’ championship in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, whereas German driver Sebastian Vettel received 4 drivers’ championships in row whereas signed to the crew.
Purple Bull operates soccer groups in prime divisions throughout Austria, Germany, Brazil and the USA. The corporate began by shopping for Austrian membership SV Austria Salzburg in 2005 and rebranding it within the firm colours below the identify Purple 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 Purple 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 Purple Bull Media Home GmbH, is understood for selling right-wing provocative views.