Red Bull buys stake in Leeds to enter English football for first time

Joel Piroe in action for Leeds
Leeds will have Red Bull on their strip next season - Getty Images/Alex Pantling

Leeds United have insisted their name and badge will remain unchanged following Red Bull’s investment in the club that will see the energy drink company bring in “new commercial revenues” and sponsor kit.

The Championship club, who missed out on promotion to the Premier League at the weekend, have announced Red Bull is buying a minority ownership stake in its first venture into English football.

Red Bull put its branding in the official name of Salzburg and New York among the teams it owns, but RB Leipzig use initials as German football does not allow clubs to be named after companies.

While Leeds will have Red Bull on their strip next season and branding emblazoned around Elland Road and seen during media appearances, the club were adamant in their statement announcing the tie-up that “the name and logo of Leeds United Football Club will remain unchanged”.

They added: “The deal brings in new commercial revenues as well as additional capital investment for a minority ownership stake.”

Since buying Leeds, the 49ers Enterprises owners have had a number of high-profile backers investing in the club. The latest was Hollywood actor Will Ferrell, who joined the likes of Russell Crowe, golfer Jordan Spieth and record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps. Red Bull’s agreement with Leeds is “multi-year” but will not see it have a seat on the board.

“I am thrilled that Red Bull is joining us to build a bright future for Leeds United and shares our deep respect for this truly special club,” said Leeds chairman Paraag Marathe. “As Chairman, our consortium of investment partners will be invaluable to me as we approach this important moment for the club, now and into the future. Red Bull’s addition is a historic milestone that will further empower the club to reach its full competitive potential.”

Oliver Mintzlaff, Red Bull CEO Corporate Projects and Investments, added: “The ambition to bring Leeds United back to the Premier League and establish themselves in the best football league in the world fits very well with Red Bull. We look forward to the partnership and are optimistic and energized about the future.”

Leeds were hoping for a return to the Premier League at the first attempt after relegation but lost to Southampton in the Championship play-off final on Sunday.