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Red Bull: how have each of their teams preformed?

Red Bull

Red Bull is an energy drink company founded in 1984 by Dietrich Mateschitz and Chaleo Yoovidhya.

The company is world renowned for its marketing strategies which often included sponsoring “extreme sports” such as cliff diving, skiing and skateboarding.

Over the last fifteen years, Red Bull have brought their brand into the football world, taking control of teams in Austria, Germany, Brazil, Ghana and the United States.

As Leeds United have announced that last week the energy drink giants have taken a stake in the football club, in this article we will look at the clubs and how they have performed since Red Bull have taken over their side.

FC Red Bull Salzburg

Formerly known as SV Austria Salzburg, Red Bull bought the club on 6 April 2005 and completely rebranded the side.

Red Bull changed the teams name, staff, management and even the teams colours, switching from the clubs traditional violet and white to red and white.

Red Bull even declared that “this is a new club with no history” and originally claimed that they were founded in 2005.

Red Bull

Many fans of the original SV Austria Salzburg went on to form a new club known as “Austria Salzburg” after many failed attempts to get Red Bull to acknowledge and embrace the club’s history.

The most the company was willing to offer to fans was to make the goalkeepers away socks the clubs original violet colour.

Giovanni Trapattoni was hired as the coach of the team in May 2005, with Lothar Matthäus also being brought in as a trainer. Red Bull Salzburg won the Austrian Bundesliga at the first time of asking, securing the title with five games to spare.

Post Trapattoni Era

Over the past fifteen years, Red Bull have won eleven league titles and eight domestic cups. Throughout the years managers such as Roger Schmidt, Ricardo Moniz, Marco Rose and Jesse Marsch have helped guide the team to these titles.

In 2018 under Marco Rose, Salzburg reached the Europa League semi-final, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Marseille. In recent years the team has also made it to the Champions League group stage on multiple occasions.

Between 2013-2019, Salzburg earned around €300 million from the sales of players such as Takumi Minamino, Erling Haaland and Sadio Mané to name a few.

Red Bull

Red Bull Salzburg has dominated domestically since the takeover, this along with the great profits from sales and the side finally making the Champions League consistently leaves us with the conclusion that so far this takeover has been a successful one for Red Bull’s company.

Successful? Yes. Morally right? Not at all.

New York Red Bulls

Red Bull took over the New York MetroStars on 9 March 2006. Just like Salzburg the clubs name, colours and logo were changed, the team was now known as “Red Bull New York” or “New York Red Bulls”.

Red Bull

The reaction was once again mixed, but unlike in Salzburg, the company decided to not re-brand as a “new team” and decided to respect the clubs history.

In 2008 under Juan Carlos Osorio, the Red Bulls reached the MLS Cup final, losing out 3-1 to Columbus Crew.

The hangover of the final was very apparent the following season. The club went on a 16 game winless streak that coincided with a 23 game winless streak away from home. The Red Bulls then found themselves being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League, only reaching the second round of the tournament.

All these factors eventually led to the resignation of Juan Carlos Osorio.

The 2010 season saw the club make some major changes. The club brought about a new stadium, a new sporting director and coaching staff, and a new group of players to the Red Bulls. Swedish manager Hans Backe was hired to lead the club forward.

The arrival of Theirry Henry

In the summer of 2010 French legend Thierry Henry & Mexico international Rafael Márquez joined the club from FC Barcelona. Despite the new signings and staff, New York failed to win anything the following two seasons, often getting knocked out at the latter stages of the MLS Cup.

Getting knocked out by D.C. United in the semi-finals of Eastern Conference semi-finals was the final straw for Red Bull as a few hours after the loss it was announced that Backe would not be offered a new contract at the club.

Red Bull

Mike Petke, Backe’s assistant, took over as the manager of the team. In 2012-13 yet another overhaul of staff took place with a new sporting director and general manager being hired. Players such as Rafael Márquez and Kenny Cooper were released from the club. Brazilian veteran Juninho was signed.

Petke’s more “aggressive style” paid off for the team as the club went on a two-month undefeated streak and won the 2013 Supporters’ Shield as the team with the best regular-season record. Despite the strong performance in the league the side fell short in the MLS Cup once again, losing to Houston in the quarter finals.

The following season the team made the Eastern Conference finals but lost out to the New England Revolution. Thierry Henry announced he was retiring from the sport after the season concluded.

Post Henry Managerial Struggles

Petke was relieved of his duties in 2015 and replaced by Montreal Impact’s head coach Jesse Marsch. The target was to implement, on the pitch, a consequent pressing style implemented in many of the then Red Bull footballs sporting director Ralf Rangnicks teams.

With the help of Marsch’s new style, players such as Bradley Wright-Phillips joining the club and young academy players such as Matt Miazga emerging into the first team, the Red Bulls won the Supporters Shield once again.

Things were looking up for New York as steady progress was being made and even more youth prospects such as Tyler Adams were breaking through. Some of the highlights being destroying their rivals New York City FC 7-0 in the Hudson River Derby and reaching the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals.

During the 2018 season it was announced Marsch would be leaving the club immediately to join Ralf Rangnick in Germany with RB Leipzig as an assistant manager.

Marsch’s assistant Chris Armas took over at New York. Armas led the team to a third Supporters Shield.

After a rough start to the 2020 season, Armas was let go.

New York Red Bulls are now currently managed by Sandro Schwarz.

Red Bull Ghana

Red Bull Ghana was founded in 2008 as a professional football club and academy based in Sogakope, South Tongu District, Ghana.

Unlike most of the RB teams, this side was founded completely by Red Bull and was not the company simply taking over an already existing team.

The team was used to produce coaches and players for the other Red Bull sides across the world.

The team made it to the second highest division in Ghana in 2009. In 2013 the team suffered relegation and a year later Red Bull abolished the academy and the team itself.

Most of the talent produced at the club would be moved to Salzburg and then loaned out across Europe for experience.

Red Bull Brasil

Like Red Bull Ghana, Red Bull Brasil was not the product of a club takeover. The club was founded on 19 November 2007, with the aim of eventually reaching Série A.

With steady progress up the São Paulo state divisions things were looking up for Red Bull Brasil but progress halted slightly and the club struggled to break into the higher divisions of Brazil.

The farthest the team reached was the Campeonato Brasileiro Série D, Brazil’s fourth division, where they did not advance to playoffs.

On 26 March 2019, Red Bull Brasil announced a partnership deal with Clube Atlético Bragantino.

Red Bull Bragantino

In April 2019 Red Bull signed a deal with Clube Atlético Bragantino to take over all footballing operations at the club. Although the partnership began in April 2019, during the 2019 Campeonato Brasileiro Série B (second division of Brazilian football), the team was called ‘Bragantino’ and Red Bull appeared only as a sponsor.

Red Bull

In 2020 the club’s logo and team colours were changed to the Red Bull colours as well as the club name being changed to “Red Bull Bragantino”.

RB Leipzig

Red Bull purchased the playing rights of SSV Markranstädt, a team in the fifth-tier of German football on 19 May 2009.

Leipzig flew up the divisions in Germany and by May 2016, only seven years after Red Bull took over, the team had reached the Bundesliga. The team finished second in their first ever Bundesliga season and ensured qualification into the Uefa Champions League.

RB Leipzig are the most controversial team out of all the Red Bull football sides.

Originally the energy drink company contacted many clubs in the higher divisions to discuss a take over, these clubs included FC St. Pauli, TSV 1860 Munich and Fortuna Düsseldorf. These clubs quickly rejected Red Bulls proposals as it became clear that the company insisted on having “Red Bull” in the team’s name if a takeover happened.

The club is hated throughout Germany as they navigated around the country’s “50+1” ownership rules. Employees of the company sit on the board as “fans” whereas for every other club in Germany it is genuine fans who are members.

Fans across Germany have protested against Leipzig, many not attending their clubs away games in Leipzig and often protesting when their side faces RB at home.

Dynamo Dresden fans even went as far to throw a severed bull head (representing the bull in Red Bulls logos) onto the pitch when they faced the team.

The club have since won the German DFB Pokal in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.


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