Red Bull GmbH

This article is about the company. For the energy drink, see Red Bull. For other uses, see Red Bull (disambiguation).
Red Bull GmbH
Industry Conglomerate including drinks
Founded 1987 (1987)
Founder Dietrich Mateschitz
Chaleo Yoovidhya
Headquarters Fuschl am See, Salzburg, Austria
Area served
Key people
Dietrich Mateschitz
Products Red Bull
Energy drinks
Revenue Increase €5.110 billion (2014)[1]
Increase €1.3 billion (2006)
Increase €650 million (2006)
Number of employees
10,997 (2015)[1]
Subsidiaries Red Bull Racing
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Red Bull Racing Team
New York Red Bulls
FC Red Bull Salzburg
RB Leipzig
Red Bull Brasil
Red Bull Ghana
EHC München
EC Red Bull Salzburg

Red Bull GmbH is a Thai - Austrian company which sells the Red Bull energy drink. The company is also known for its sponsorship of a range of sporting events and teams. In 2014, a total of 5.612 billion cans were sold in over 167 countries. 10,410 employees generated €5.11 billion in revenue.[1] The headquarters of Red Bull GmbH are located in Fuschl am See, Austria.


Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz and Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya founded Red Bull GmbH in 1984. While working for German manufacturer Blendax (later acquired by Procter & Gamble) in 1982, Mateschitz traveled to Thailand and met Chaleo, owner of TC Pharmaceutical. He found that the energy drink Krating Daeng, developed by Chaleo's company during the 1970s, helped to ease his jet lag.[2] After seeing market potential in the drink, he partnered with Chaleo in bringing it to Europe. Under their agreement, the partners invested $500,000 each into founding Red Bull GmbH. In return, they would each receive a 49% stake in the company, with the remaining 2% stake going to Chaleo's son Chalerm. They also agreed that Mateschitz would run the company.[3]

Between 1984 and 1987, Red Bull GmbH modified the formula for Krating Daeng to better match European tastes by carbonating the beverage and making it less sweet. In 1987, the company introduced their adapted energy drink into Austria under the name Red Bull. It found huge success there by marketing to young professionals. The brand expanded throughout Europe during the early 1990s, exploding into the United States market during 1997, grabbing 75% of the market within a year.[3] The wealth of Red Bull's founders grew with the company's success, and by March 2012, both Chaleo and Mateschitz had estimated net worths of over $5.3 billion each.[4][5] Today, Red Bull GmbH operates in 167 countries and employs over 10,000 people. Its signature product, Red Bull, remains the world's most-consumed energy drink with 5.2 billion cans sold in 2012.[6]

Red Bull distribution

The Red Bull company also distributes and markets a number of other drinks including Simply Cola, the Carpe Diem range of herbal soft beverages and the Sabai Wine Spritzer (the latter in association with the Thai Siam Winery in Thailand).

In 2010 the company won a long-running legal battle with The Bulldog, a chain of cannabis coffee shops. The Bulldog was ordered to cease the sale and distribution of its own brand of energy drink.[7]


Initially, Red Bull distributed free cases of the drink to college students in an attempt at viral advertising. This strategy was wildly successful, resulting in the rapid proliferation of sales. Red Bull has since become known for its sleek marketing targeted at young urban professionals through various sports and entertainment based advertising campaigns. The current mottoes, "Red Bull Gives You Wings," and "No Red Bull, No Wings" are direct plays on the apparent stimulating properties of the beverage.

Sport sponsorship

Since the initial viral campaign, Red Bull's efforts have included sponsoring extreme sport events including cliff diving, BMX, skiing, flying, downhill and free-ride mountain biking and skateboarding. In the 1990s, Red Bull sponsored the rower Xeno Müller, who won an Olympic gold medal in the single sculls in 1996 .Red Bull also owns and conducts the Flugtag ("flight day" in German), a competition where entrants launch themselves off a 10-metre ramp in homemade "flying machines" into a body of water (reminiscent of the Birdman Rally); its own version of the soapbox derby called the Red Bull Soap Box Race which was recently held in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Red Bull Art of the Can Competition, an international art competition in which artists are asked to create works using the Red Bull can; and the Red Bull BC One individual breakdance competition; also events such as the motorcycle Erzberg Enduro where less than two percent of entrants finish the course.

Red Bull has had a sponsorship presence in a number of sports for some time, especially in the world of motor sport, with the company having a presence in the Australian V8 Supercars sponsoring the 888 race team, DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) especially the Abt Audi team, Dakar Rally sponsoring the KAMAZ Master, VW Race Touareg Team, KTM Factory Motocross Team, MotoGP, British Superbike's (BSB) Red Bull Honda and HM Plant Red Bull Honda teams, World Rally Championship with the Citroën and Škoda teams, the SEAT team in the World Touring Car Championship, in Champ Car with Neel Jani and PKV Racing, Rhys Millen's Pontiac in Formula D, sponsoring the GP2 Series team owner by Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, Arden International. The team previously sponsored the Sauber and Arrows Formula One teams, the Red Bull Cheever Racing Team in the IRL, and from 2007 to 2011 Team Red Bull competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Also Red Bull is now sponsoring the Cyberathlete Professional League and its own air racing event called the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition for driverless cars, was won by a student team from Stanford. The Team's robotically driven Volkswagen Touareg "Stanley", was sponsored by Red Bull.

Red Bull sponsors the Red Bull Rope Masters competition with the National Double Dutch League for the Annual Holiday Classic at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, an event often dominated by teams from Japan featuring fusion double-Dutch (set to hip-hop or contemporary music), and they sponsor other regional events in Memphis, TN and at Morgan State University, to name a few. There are several YouTube videos documenting these events.

Red Bull also has sponsored various racing drivers including NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne and Formula One drivers Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Red Bull is also sponsor to young Canadian racing prodigy Robert Wickens and teammate John Michael Edwards in the Champ Car Atlantic Series, as well as rally driver Travis Pastrana, MotoGP riders Dani Pedrosa, Marc Márquez, Maverick Viñales, Stefan Bradl and Jack Miller, American Superbike (AMA) riders Eric Bostrom, Ben Bostrom and Jake Zemke and British Super bike (BSB) riders Jonathan Rea, Eugene Laverty and Ryuchi Kiyonari. Red Bull is sponsoring two new NASCAR teams under 2007; racing under the new Toyota Camry label. Aside from that, its Thai unit and its Philippine partner has been responsible in forming, licensing and funding the Red Bull Barako basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) since 2000. It has become one of the more successful sports teams in the Philippines, winning three championships in the PBA.

Red Bull covers the costs to organise the Wings for Life World Run since its first edition in 2014. This permits that the entry fees for the participants can entirely be given to the non profit Wings for Life foundation.[8]

Sport ownership

Red Bull has also extended its presence to purchasing and entirely re-branding a number of sports teams.

Red Bull established Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2006 by buying the Minardi team. This followed the purchase of Jaguar to become Red Bull Racing the previous year.


In motorsport, these teams include Red Bull Racing (previously Jaguar Racing)[9] and Scuderia Toro Rosso, previously Minardi F1 Team.[10] (Scuderia Toro Rosso is Italian for Team Red Bull.)[10] Both teams have scored Grand Prix victories, and Red Bull Racing won the Constructors Championship for the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons.

In 2006, Red Bull announced they would be sponsoring the NASCAR Red Bull Racing Team. They debuted in the Nextel Cup Series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The team was shut down in December 2011 and its assets acquired by BK Racing.[11][12]

The Stock Car Brasil team WA Mattheis is sponsored by Red Bull since 2009; Cacá Bueno has won the 2009, 2011 and 2012 championships. Also, the Australian V8 Supercars' Triple Eight Race Engineering is sponsored by Red Bull since 2013. Jamie Whincup won the 2013 championship.


The company has also been highly active in association football. On April 6, 2005, Red Bull bought the Austrian club SV Austria Salzburg and renamed it to Red Bull Salzburg, a move which has been heavily criticised by supporter groups within Austria and across Europe.

In 2005, Red Bull purchased the MetroStars, a team in Major League Soccer representing New York City, from Anschutz Entertainment Group and renamed the franchise; Red Bull New York is the name of the Red Bull subsidiary that operates the team, while the squad itself is known as the New York Red Bulls. Anschutz Entertainment Group was about to begin building the MetroStars their own stadium, but groundbreaking was delayed a month as AEG completed the sale of the team. The company paid for the team's new stadium, Red Bull Arena, which had its match opener March 20, 2010.

In 2007, Red Bull established the lower-division Red Bull Brasil team in São Paulo.

Most recently in June 2009, the company purchased the football licence of German fifth division club SSV Markranstädt based near Leipzig, renaming them RB Leipzig for the 2009-10 season onwards. The company stated that their goal was to reach the country's first division, the Bundesliga, within ten years; this goal was ultimately achieved, with RB Leipzig winning four promotions in seven seasons to secure Bundesliga football starting in 2016-17.[13]

The current "Head of Global Football Operations" is Oliver Mintzlaff.[14]

Ice hockey

Main article: EC Red Bull Salzburg

The company purchased EC Salzburg, the city's team in the Austrian Hockey League, in 2000 and renamed it Red Bull Salzburg.

Main article: EHC Red Bull München

Furthermore, Red Bull purchased the DEL Club EHC München. In 2012 Red Bull first became the main and name sponsor, while it took over the club in 2013 fully.

Promotional cars

In addition to sport sponsorships, Red Bull has developed the MET (Mobile Energy Team) programme. The teams consist of mostly college students, who drive specially designed Red Bull "Racers". The racers are detailed with the Red Bull logo and most carry an oversized can of Red Bull on their chassis (Suzuki Vitara, MiniCooper, SportTrac, etc.). The METs complete daily missions that include sporting events, businesses, colleges, shopping centres, etc. The Mobile Energy Team is trained to know the properties of the energy drink thoroughly and present them to consumers.

Promotional aircraft

Red Bull DC-6B landing at Salzburg

The company uses numerous historic fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft[15] in their promotions including:

Music industry

The brand is promoted via various music related activities. In 2007, the company launched its own record label Red Bull Records. It runs the Red Bull Studio recording facility, in Santa Monica.[16] The Red Bull Music Academy organises music workshops and festivals around the world.

The brand also organises and sponsors the famous Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos. A freestyle competition of hip hop which takes place every year in many spanish speaking countries.

In 2013, it started an artist development program called Red Bull Sound Select. Randy Randall, of No Age, said he was okay working with Red Bull as the company is not owned by a larger company, and the branding of the events is relatively low key.[17] In the same year Red Bull Amplifier was launched with help from Sidekick Studios. It plans helps to assist digital startups by giving access to its audience, events and facilities. In return Red Bull gets associated with trendy start ups.[18][19]


Red Bull Media House is a media company specialized in sport, lifestyle programming, music and games.[20]

The company publishes several magazines: The Red Bulletin (lifestyle), Servus (food, health and gardening); Terra Mater (nature, science and history); Bergwelten (alpinism) and Seitenblicke (celebrities).

Other Red Bull Media House divisions are Red Bull TV, Red Bull Photography, Benevento Publishing, Red Bull Music Academy, Red Bull Records and Red Bull Music Publishing.

Sports championships

Auto racing

Association football


 United States


Ice hockey

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Red Bull the company - Who makes Red Bull? Red Bull Origin :: Energy Drink :: Red Bull". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  2. Selling Energy, Economist, May 9 2002
  3. 1 2 Kerry A. Dolan (28 March 2005). "The Soda With Buzz". Forbes. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  4. Dietrich Mateschitz, Forbes, March 2012
  5. Yoovidhya Family, Forbes, March 2012
  6. Red Bull company history, Red Bull GmbH corporate website
  7. Azarius, accessed February 13, 2013
  9. Red Bull snaps up Jaguar F1 team article
  10. 1 2 Red Bull swoop for Minardi deal article
  11. Ryan, Nate (20 June 2011). "Lack of success drives Red Bull to pull out of NASCAR". USA Today. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  12. Gluck, Jeff (21 February 2012). "2012 Daytona 500 To Mark Debut Of Mysterious BK Racing Team". SB Nation. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  13. "RB Leipzig seal promotion to first division". Deutsche Welle. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  14. The Boss July 8th 2015.
  15. "Photo Search Results". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  16. Lauria, Peter (2008-04-01). "Pump the Music". New York Post.101013
  17. Tavana, Art. "Why is Super-DIY Band No Age Playing a Corporate Sponsored Music Festival?". LA Weekly. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  18. Solon, Olivia. "Red Bull launches accelerator for music startups". Condé Nast UK. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  19. Lara, O'Reilly. "Red Bull launches music startup accelerator". Marketing Week. Centaur Media. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  20. When a Brand Becomes a Publisher: Inside Red Bull’s Media House - Dorian Benkoil, Mediashift, 10 November 2014
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