Red Bull expands global football empire, takes over at Bragantino

Austrian energy drink brand Red Bull has expanded its global club football empire through a major deal with second-tier Brazilian side Atlético Bragantino.

Under the deal, Red Bull will invest BRL$45m ($11.2m/€10m) in the club this season, according to Bragantino president Marquinho Chedid.

The money will be used to finance stadium and training ground renovations, pay player and staff salaries, and pay partnership rights fees.

A key part of the deal is the transfer of naming rights to Red Bull, which will see the club rebranded as RB Bragantino. The partnership will go live on April 5 ahead of the start of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B season on April 26.

According to Brazilian news site Epocas Negocios, the deal came together at the end of last year, after Bragantino rejected a BRL$35m offer to merge with neighbouring São Paulo side Oeste Futebol Clube.

In the run-up to Christmas 2018, an agent of Chedid spoke with Red Bull Brasil president Thiago Scuro, and on January 4 this year, Chedid met Scuro at Red Bull Brasil headquarters in Campinas and began negotiating the agreement.

The partnership was agreed in Germany in February, and was signed on Tuesday in Bragantino. Red Bull Brasil was later received at a ceremony with Bragantino mayor Jesus Chedid, uncle of Marquinho Chedid.

The deal is Red Bull’s fifth football club acquisition following its takeover of RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg in 2005, the New York Red Bulls in 2006, and Red Bull Brasil in 2007. Red Bull Brasil competes in Campeonato Paulista, the top-flight regional league of São Paulo state.

The Bragantino deal provides Red Bull’s larger European clubs with yet another sourcing ground for young talent from Brazil.

Ralf Rangnick, managing and global sporting director at RB Leipzig, said: “It is important for RB to ensure in the next few years that more players are developing in locations like New York or Brazil, who qualify as reinforcements to us.”

Through its partnership with Red Bull, RB Bragantino aims to secure promotion to the top-flight Campeonato Brasileiro Série A this season.