Dietrich Mateschitz (born 20 May 1944) is an Austrian billionaire businessman. He is the co-founder and 49% owner of the Red Bull energy drink company. As of June 2019, Mateschitz’s net worth was estimated at $19.5 billion, making him the 53rd richest person in the world.
Mateschitz was born May 20, 1944, in Sankt Marein im Mürztal, Styria, Austria to a family of Croatian ancestry. His parents were both primary school teachers and separated when he was a young child.
After taking ten years to graduate from the Hochschule für Welthandel (now Vienna University of Economics and Business) with a marketing degree in 1972, 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 his eldest 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 is co-founder of the Wings for Life foundation that supports spinal cord research together with Heinz Kinigadner. Since 2014, the foundation has organised the Wings for Life World Run to raise funds.
He lives in Fuschl am See, Austria but also owns Laucala Island, off Fiji, which he bought from the Forbes family for £7 million. In 2013, Mateschitz purchased a custom DeepFlight Super Falcon, an extreme $1.7 million submarine for guests at his 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. Red Bull formerly owned more than 60 percent of the Sauber Formula One motor racing team, and was the team’s main sponsor. However, Red Bull ended its relationship with Sauber at the end of 2001 after the team opted to sign Kimi Räikkönen as one of their drivers for the 2001 season instead of Red Bull protege Enrique Bernoldi. In November 2004, Mateschitz bought the Jaguar Racing Formula One team from its previous owners, Ford, and renamed it Red Bull Racing. In September 2005, Mateschitz joined forces with his close friend and former Formula One driver, Gerhard Berger, to purchase 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 One World Constructors’ Championship and Drivers’ Championship with Sebastian Vettel. They then went on to win both titles for the next three years running in 2011, 2012, and 2013, making Vettel and Red Bull Racing four-time world champions.
In late 2004, he bought the A1-Ring racing circuit, which had formerly hosted the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix, and renamed it the Red Bull Ring. The circuit re-opened in May 2011 and hosted a round of the 2011 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season. Although Mateschitz had stated that there were no plans for it to return to the Formula One calendar, in December 2012 Red Bull notified the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile they would be open to hosting a Grand Prix. In July 2013, Red Bull announced the return of the Austrian Grand Prix to the Formula One World Championship in 2014. The race took place on 22 June 2014 and was won by Nico Rosberg, driving for Mercedes.
Mateschitz 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 Yugoslav 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 New York Red Bulls, respectively. In 2007, Red Bull founded Red Bull Brasil, a football team based in Campinas, Brazil. The team was promoted to the 1st division of the São Paulo championship in 2014, the most competitive state championship of the country. In 2008, Red Bull founded Red Bull Ghana. In May 2009, he founded a German football club called RB Leipzig after bought the club license of SSV Markranstädt. 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.
- “Forbes profile: Dietrich Mateschitz”. Forbes. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- “Red Bull Co-Funder Thai Tycoon Chaleo Dies”. Associated Press. 17 March 2012.
- Lauterbach, Peter (9 March 2010). “Mateschitz will unbedingt die Nummer eins sein”[Mateschitz is determined to be number one] (in German). Die Welt. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
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. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
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 (16 November 2010). “Poduzetnik hrvatskog podrijetla “dao krila” Vettelu” [Businessman of Croatian descent “gave wings” to Vettel] (in Croatian). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
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, p. 126, vol. 175, No. 6 (28 March 2005)
- “Big man drives forward energy-packed brand” by Peter Klinger. The Times (London), 25 February 2006.
- Meet The Billionaire Behind Red Bull’s Death-Defying Corporate Culture
- Red Bull CEO takes foot off gas. The Nation (Thailand). 26 November 2001.
- Grabbing the drinks market by the horns. The Sunday Herald. 7 May 2000.
- “Top Selling Energy Drink Brands”. Caffeine Informer. 14 March 2016.
- “About us”. Wings For Life. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
- Profile, expensiveplaces.com; accessed 3 May 2014.
- “Marketing with wings: Dietrich Mateschitz and the art of branding”. European CEO. 16 October 2013. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- McLaren Staff Back In UK After Australia Self-Isolation
- “Sauber to lose Red Bull sponsorship”. irishtimes.com. 1 March 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- “Formula One News”. Planet F1. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- “Rosberg defeats Hamilton in Austrian thriller”. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- “The Flying Bulls”. The Flying Bulls. Retrieved 10 June 2014.