Leeds United: Red Bull buys minority stake in club - but name won't change

Red Bull has made its first foray into English football by buying a minority stake in Leeds United.

The multi-year deal will see the company become the team's new shirt sponsor, while it will also become the side's "exclusive energy drink partner".

The firm's branding will also be prominently displayed at Leeds United's Elland Road stadium.

Red Bull has attracted controversy over previous deals with football clubs - including in Austria where FC Red Bull Salzburg changed its name, crest and stadium name after being purchased by the company in 2005.

However, in a club statement, Leeds United said its "name and logo will remain unchanged".

Further details of the deal, including the size of the company's stake, have not been revealed.

The move comes after the team's recent failure to secure promotion to the Premier League, despite having one of the most expensive squads in the second-tier Championship league.

The club was beaten to automatic promotion by Leicester City and Ipswich Town, and then lost 1-0 in last weekend's play-off final against Southampton FC.

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Leeds United chairman Paraag Marathe said: "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...

"Red Bull's addition is a historic milestone that will further empower the club to reach its full competitive potential."

Red Bull said it was "delighted to be an important element and partner of Leeds United" and said it hoped the club would achieve promotion to the Premier League soon.

Its chief executive of corporate projects, Oliver Mintzlaff, said: "We look forward to the partnership and are optimistic and energised about the future."

The move further expands the energy drink giant's sporting interests, which include the successful Red Bull F1 Racing team and its sister team RBF1.

Alongside a number of ice hockey and extreme sports teams, they have also invested in German football side RB Leipzig, US side New York Red Bulls, as well as Red Bull Bragantino in Brazil.