Leeds United to become Red Bull Leeds?

23/07/2013 2 Comments »
Leeds United to become Red Bull Leeds?

Red Bull and Dietrich Mateschitz is rumoured to hit the football industry again. Leeds United is strongly linked with the energy brand and fans fear the their club will turn into Red Bull Leeds.

Red Bull is seeking to extend their football engagement and according to different sources are in talks with Leeds United. The speculations are immense and reach from a simple shirt sponsorship for the Championship side to the naming rights for Elland Road. A full take over hasn’t been mentioned yet, but as Red Bulls history shows, it’s likely. However, fans are worries about the heritage and tradition of the club. Leeds United was founded in 1919 and has a long established history. The Whites, as they are also known, are also among the best supported clubs in the world.

Red Bull is already linked with teams such as New York Red Bull (U.S.), Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) and RB Leipzig (Germany) where the energy brand invested heavily each time. The energy brand also sponsors a Formula 1 motor racing team. The energy brand usually gets involved with shirt sponsorship, naming rights and player investments and tends to target teams with a long established history.

A good example is RB Leipzig. Red Bull came in and purchased a playing licence of fifth division side SSV Markranstädt. With the aim to turn the club in a Bundesliga club in the next 8-10 years. Red Bull invested over 100 million over 10 years and turned the Zentralstadion into the Red Bull Arena.

It is a risky move and a fine line for supporters as Gary Cooper, chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust knows. He said: “At the moment, we haven’t heard anything from the club but what we would want is for them to sit down with the fans and talk about what any deal would mean…All clubs have heritage and that’s built up though your history and your identity with the team. To think that Elland Road could possibly be called something else puts the fear of God in me. That being said, we have got to raise some money from somewhere.”

Fans are furious so far and mostly against the engagement with their club – Leeds United. However, the club itself has to decide whether they want the money and engagement. As core fans, would you really stop Leeds United if they were renamed Red Bull Leeds?

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