Dietrich Mateschitz died at the age of 78 on Saturday (22) after a long struggle with an undisclosed terminal illness. The businessman became known for helping to found the energy company that became one of the most famous in the world: Red Bull. The information came through an article published in Speedweek, a publication that belongs to the Taurus group.
Mateschitz has been one of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the world in recent decades. One of the founders of Red Bull and owner of 49% of the energy drink brand, the Austrian had an estimated fortune of US$ 25.4 billion – around R$ 137 billion – in a measurement taken at the end of 2021.
With family ties in the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia and Croatia, his parents were school teachers. A graduate of the University of Vienna in Economics and Business, he worked at Unilever before leaving for the German cosmetics company Blendax. In 1984, he founded Red Bull alongside Chaleo Yoovidhya.
Red Bull’s relationship with sports has a lot to do with Dietrich. The brand’s boss was active in putting Helmut Marko, a close friend, as a consultant for a young driver program, the most successful in motorsport, in 2001. The brand also sponsored Sauber there, but left the Swiss team and focused efforts on a much greater leap.
The leap came in 2004, with the purchase of the then-Jaguar team. That’s when Red Bull’s own team emerged, debuting in 2005, with David Coulthard and Christian Klein forming the driver duo. The following year, it was Toro Rosso’s turn to arrive, the brand’s B team, with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed forming a pair.
While Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, was notable for being the formation of names like Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly, Red Bull has become one of the most successful teams in the history of the category, with five drivers’ and four constructors’ titles.
In addition to motorsports – such as Nascar, DTM and WRC -, Red Bull has also invested heavily in other sports, such as surfing, skateboarding and, of course, football, with the creation of Red Bull Bragantino, NY Red Bulls, Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, the brand’s most successful team, having already advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2019/20 season.