Mateschitz's first job was at 'Unilever,' where he marketed detergents. He then moved to 'Blendax,' the German cosmetics company, which is now owned by 'Procter & Gamble.' Mateschitz’s job involved marketing of the 'Blendax' brand of toothpaste, for which he had to travel frequently. On one such business trip, to Thailand, he discovered a Thai syrupy energy-boosting drink named 'Krating Daeng,' which cured his jet lag.
Mateschitz liked the taste of the drink and decided to develop his own energy drink. Thus, he approached the owner of the Thai drink brand, Chaleo Yoovidhya, suggesting a partnership. They sealed a deal to share 49 percent of the company’s share each, while the remaining 2 percent was supposed to be given to Yoovidhya’s son.
Mateschitz thus launched his version of the canned energy-boosting drink, which is now widely popular as 'Red Bull.' However, in its formative years, there was no existing market for energy drinks. Mateschitz tapped the opportunity to launch a one-of-a-kind product.
Mateschitz; Yoovidhya; and Yoovidhya’s eldest son, Chalerm Yoovidhya, founded 'Red Bull GmbH' in 1984.
The berry-flavored 'Red Bull' finally hit the European market (launched in Austria) in 1987 and turned out to be a hit. The original 'Red Bull' mix was sweeter than the modern version, but the base combination has been the same, containing taurine and caffeine.
Soon, other companies started manufacturing similar drinks. However, instead of being threatened by that, Mateschitz was motivated. Subsequently, 'Red Bull' became a world leader in the energy drink market. 'Red Bull’ primarily earned profits from Japan and India.
Being a pilot and extreme-sports enthusiast himself, Mateschitz heavily marketed 'Red Bull' among extreme sports enthusiasts, which goes perfectly with its tagline. He wanted to create a cult following to promote the drink. Back then, social-media platforms were yet to be introduced. Thus, Mateschitz found out popular university students and paid them to throw parties in unusual locations.
Mateschitz supplied the students with enough 'Red Bull' cans to tie on the tops of their cars when they went back to university. The trend turned 'Red Bull' into a popular drink that was served in nightclubs.
'Red Bull' previously sponsored and owned over 60 percent of the 'Sauber Formula One' motor racing team but ended its contract with ‘Sauber’ at the end of 2001.
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In November 2004, 'Ford' sold the 'Jaguar Racing Formula One' team to Mateschitz. The team was renamed 'Red Bull Racing' and won the 'Formula One World Constructors' Championship' and the ‘Drivers' Championship' for 4 consecutive years, from 2010.
In late 2004, Mateschitz bought the former 'Formula One' Austrian 'Grand Prix' host, the 'A1-Ring' racing circuit, and renamed it the 'Red Bull Ring.' The circuit re-opened in May 2011 to host the 2011 'Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters' season. Even though Mateschitz had announced he would not return to the 'Formula One' program, 'Red Bull' notified the 'Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile' on December 2012 that they would like to host a 'Grand Prix.'
In April 2005, Mateschitz bought the Austrian football club 'SV Austria Salzburg.' Then, in September, he collaborated with former 'Formula One' driver Gerhard Berger to purchase the Italian-registered 'Minardi' team from Australian millionaire and airline magnate 'Paul Stoddart' and renamed it 'Scuderia Toro Rosso' (''Toro Rosso'' means ''Red Bull'' in Italian).
In March 2006, Mateschitz bought the American club 'MetroStars.' Both 'SV Austria Salzburg' and 'MetroStars' were subsequently renamed the 'Red Bull Salzburg' and the 'New York Red Bulls,' respectively. In 2007, 'Red Bull' founded 'Red Bull Brasil,' a Campinas, Brazil-based football team.
In 2008, ‘Red Bull’ founded 'Red Bull Ghana,' a professional football club and academy. It was abolished in 2014. In May 2009, Mateschitz founded the German football club 'RB Leipzig.'
From 2006 to 2011, Mateschitz owned 'Team Red Bull,' which competed in the 'NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' and the 'K&N Pro Series East.' He is the owner of the German ice-hockey club 'EHC München,' known as the 'Red Bull München' since 2012.
In 2007, 'Red Bull Records' was launched. It was headed by a former vice president of 'Atlantic Records.' The most well-known group signed under the label has been the electronic-rock band 'Awolnation.' 'Red Bull' also owns a music academy, which has produced artists and bands such as 'Flying Lotus,' Hudson Mohawke, and Tokimonsta.
Mateschitz owns 'Servus TV,' an Austria-based channel managed by the 'Red Bull Media House.'
Mateschitz also owned one of Austria's top society magazines, 'Seitenblicke.' He, however, avoids the celebrity circuit and watches 'Formula One' races on TV instead. He has announced the launch of a German-language news site called 'Nä her an die Wahrheit,' meaning "Closer to the Truth,’’ which would support right-wing news.
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Mateschitz had to pull 'Red Bull' out from the German markets after authorities found traces of cocaine in the drink. The company, however, agreed to use coca leaves, but only as a flavoring agent, that too after removing the cocaine alkaloid.
Germany’s 'Federal Institute for Risk Assessment' concluded that the amount of cocaine in 'Red Bull' posed no serious health hazard.
Among several cases of 'Red Bull'-induced hospitalizations, there was a case of a 16-year-old girl who had died in Mexico after consuming the drink. Then, a woman reportedly lost her eye-sight after drinking 28 cans of the drink every day.
A Korean student, Jyong Chul Lee, at 'Cape Breton University' in Nova Scotia, was restricted after having a brawl in the cafeteria. The reports suggested that he was suffering from caffeine intoxication after consuming almost 500–600mg of caffeine a day, which resulted from 'Red Bull;' and hence had an emotional outburst.
In 2013, a lawsuit was filed against 'Red Bull' for false advertising, citing that the tagline “Red Bull gives you wings” was misleading. 'Red Bull' settled the case with a compensation of US$13 million forwarded to its American consumers and additionally offered US$10–15 million worth of 'Red Bull' products.
Mateschitz's personal views, too, have caused losses to 'Red Bull.' Several musicians and German music venues once boycotted its music academy event. Many high-profile potential interviewees have publicly refused to appear on 'Servus TV' shows due to the participation of staunch extremists.
Family & Personal Life
Mateschitz’s parents were primary school teachers. They separated when he was young. Mateschitz left his family when he was a teenager.
Mateschitzz lives in Fuschl am See, Austria, and owns Laucala Island in Fiji, which he had bought from the 'Forbes' family.
In 2013, Mateschitz bought a custom-made extreme submarine named 'DeepFlight Super Falcon.' It was meant for his guests at his Laucala Island resort. He is a licensed pilot and owns a private jet airport and hangar, exclusively for his collection of old planes, including the 'Falcon 900,' 'Piper Super Cub' jets, and the last-ever 'Douglas DC-6B' to have been manufactured. His collection of old planes is called the 'Flying Bulls.’ Besides the Douglas DC- 6B, his collection also consists of the North American ‘B-25J Mitchell,’ the ‘Lockheed P-38 Lightning,’ and more.
Mateschitz has not married but has a son named Marc was born in 1992, from a 2-year relationship with a former ski instructor named Anita.
Mateschitz is currently in a relationship with Marion Feichtner.
He is the co-founder of the 'Wings for Life foundation' that supports spinal cord research. Since 2014, the foundation has organized the fund-raising event called 'Wings for Life World Run.' Mateschitz’s former girlfriend, Anita, is the head of the foundation.
Mateschitz sponsors the annual fundraiser 'World Stunt Awards' to benefit his 'Turus Foundation,’ which provides financial aid to injured stunt professionals.