20 May 1944 |
Sankt Marein im Mürztal, Styria, Austria
|Years active||1987 to present|
Dietrich Mateschitz (born 20 May 1944) is an Austrian businessman who founded the Red Bull energy drink company and holds 49 percent of the company's shares. Mateschitz's net worth, as of 2012, is estimated to be US$5.3 billion.
Mateschitz was born in Sankt Marein im Mürztal, Styria, Austria to a family of Croatian ancestry (Matešić). His parents were both primary school teachers and separated when he was very young. Although never married, he has a son. He holds a pilot's licence and enjoys flying a Falcon 900 and a Piper Super Cub.
After taking ten years to graduate from the Hochschule für Welthandel (now Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration) with a marketing degree, Mateschitz's first employer was Unilever, where he worked marketing detergents. He subsequently moved to Blendax, the German cosmetics company since bought by Procter & Gamble, where he worked on, among other things, the marketing of Blendax toothpaste. It was as part of his travels for Blendax that he discovered Krating Daeng, the drink that would later become Red Bull. In 1984, he founded Red Bull GmbH  with his Thai partners Chaleo and Chaleo's son Chalerm Yoovidhya with the launch in Austria in 1987. Subsequently, he turned the Red Bull drink into a world market leader among energy drinks.
He lives in Salzburg, Austria but also owns Laucala Island, off Fiji, which he bought from the Forbes family for £7 million. In 2013 he bought DeepFlight Super Falcon, an extreme $1.7 million submarine for guests at his posh Laucala Island resort in Fiji.
Mateschitz's brands are consistently marketed as associated with the physical and mental attributes needed for various types of extreme sports through commercial sponsorship. In November 2004, Mateschitz bought the Jaguar Formula One team from its previous owners, Ford, and it was subsequently renamed Red Bull Racing. In September 2005, Mateschitz joined forces with his close friend and former F1 driver Gerhard Berger, and purchased the Italian-registered Minardi team from its Australian owner Paul Stoddart. The team was renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso, Toro Rosso meaning Red Bull in Italian. In 2010 Red Bull Racing won the Formula 1 Constructors Championship and Drivers Championship with Sebastian Vettel. In 2011 the team won their second, in 2012 their third and in 2013 their fourth consecutive constructors championship. Sebastian Vettel became a three-time world champion in 2012 by winning 3 championships in a row for Red Bull Racing. At the 2013 Indian Grand Prix, Vettel sealed the Drivers championship title, and in doing so, won the Constructors championship for Red Bull Racing.
He also owned a NASCAR team called Team Red Bull which fielded two Toyota Camrys for drivers Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and a Toyota Camry for driver Cole Whitt in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
In late 2004, he bought the former Formula One circuit A1-Ring, renaming it the Red Bull Ring. The circuit opened in May 2011 and hosted a round of the 2011 DTM season. Although Mateschitz had stated that there were no plans for it to return to the Formula 1 calendar, in December 2012, Red Bull notified the FIA they would be open to hosting a Grand Prix. In July 2013, Red Bull announced that the Austrian Grand Prix will return as a round of the Formula One World Championship in 2014. Mateschitz plans to set up a testing site for the automobile industry at the Austrian race circuit. There are already far developed plans, but residents of the area object.
He also planned to create an Avionautik Akademie in Zeltweg jointly with the Austrian Army. He has his own hangar, where he keeps his collection of old planes, including the last ever Douglas DC-6B to be produced, and which once belonged to Marshal Josip Broz Tito. He also sponsors the World Stunt Awards, an annual fundraiser to benefit his Taurus Foundation, which helps injured stunt professionals.
In April 2005, he bought the Austrian football club SV Austria Salzburg and in March 2006, he bought the American club MetroStars; both clubs were subsequently renamed after his famous drink, as Red Bull Salzburg and Red Bull New York, respectively. In 2007, Red Bull founded Red Bull Brasil, a football team based in Campinas, Brazil. The team was promoted to the 2nd division of the São Paulo championship in 2010, the most competitive state championship of the country. In May 2009, he founded a German football club called RB Leipzig and was named as owner. Since 2012 he is also the owner of the German ice hockey club EHC München which also changed its name into Red Bull München.
He also owned Seitenblicke, Austria's top society magazine, but avoids the celebrity circuit and watches most Formula One races on TV despite owning two teams.
- . Associated Press. March 17, 2012 http://news.yahoo.com/red-bull-co-founder-thai-tycoon-chaleo-dies-141229314.html. Missing or empty
- Lauterbach, Peter (2010-03-09). "Mateschitz will unbedingt die Nummer eins sein" [Mateschitz is determined to be number one] (in German). Die Welt. Retrieved 2012-12-28. "Mit dem smarten Einschlag seiner kroatischen Vorfahren gesegnet, ...("Blessed with the smart wrapping of his Croatian ancestry, ...")"
- "Wenn Milliardäre sich einen Fußballverein gönnen" (in German). Handelsblatt. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-10-18. "Fußball-Engagement als Marketing-Strategie: Der österreichische Unternehmer Dietrich „Didi“ Mateschitz (Mitte) hat kroatische Wurzeln ...("Football partnerships as a marketing strategy: the Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich "Didi" Mateschitz (center) has Croatian roots ...")"
- Matić, Srećko (2010-11-16). "Poduzetnik hrvatskog podrijetla "dao krila" Vettelu" [Businessman of Croatian descent "gave wings" to Vettel] (in Croatian). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2012-12-28. "Danas se imovina ovog Austrijanca hrvatskog podrijetla (neki izvori navode da ima rodbinu na zadarskom području) procjenjuje na oko tri milijarde eura. U Sloveniji se naglašava da je Mateschitz - slovenskog podrijetla, obzirom da mu je otac iz Maribora. Sam Mateschitz za sebe kaže da je "kozmopolit iz Štajerske"."
- The Soda With Buzz. Kerry A. Dolan. Forbes. Pg. 126 Vol. 175 No. 6. March 28, 2005.
- Big man drives forward energy-packed brand. Peter Klinger. The Times (London). February 25, 2006.
- Red Bull CEO takes foot off gas. The Nation (Thailand). November 26, 2001.
- Grabbing the drinks market by the horns. The Sunday Herald. May 7, 2000.
- Red Bull soll Leipziger Fußball Flügel verleihen
- Forbes.com: The Soda With Buzz
- Times Online: Big man drives forward energy-packed brand – The media-shy mogul behind the Red Bull phenomenon