The Energy Drink Empire – The impact Red Bull has had on three football clubs

DW Kick off reporter Dave Branneck lives and works in Berlin but has been a fan of the New York Metrostars for most of his life.

Regrettably for Branneck though, in 2006 the Metrostars were bought by Austrian energy drink conglomerate Red Bull and have since been known as the New York Red Bulls, just a year after Austria Salzburg had also undergone a similar transformation.

In his most recent video, Branneck explores what it’s like when your club is owned by one of the world’s most marketable corporations. To do this, he travels to the energy drink company’s most successful club, Leipzig.

After buying the playing rights of fifth-tier side SSV Markranstädt in 2009, Red Bull ploughed in the money and within eight years the club were promoted to the Bundesliga.

The success in Germany though meant that funds were diverted from the other clubs and focused on Leipzig, meaning New York suffered.

“That sweet, sweet soda money brought in star players like Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel, Tim Cahill and Rafa Marquez. Red Bull were one of the league’s biggest spenders, and fans certainly took notice,” Branneck says of the first few years of corporation ownership.

However, Branneck later goes on to comment: “With Leipzig’s rise, New York went from a star-studded side to a farm team for the German branch.”

His personal opinion after the journey? A football club owned by and named after a corporation isn’t normal. And it shouldn’t be.

“I’ll hold onto my old jerseys and keep calling them Metro, but as much as I hate modern football and what it’s done to my club, I just can’t give it up,” he says.

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