Chaleo Yoovidhya, creator of Red Bull energy drink, dies | News

Chaleo Yoovidhya, the man responsible for the world’s most popular energy drink and Thailand’s third-richest man, died earlier today of natural causes. He was 89.

Chaleo’s company TC Pharmaceuticals formulated an energy-boosting tonic dubbed Krating Daeng — Thai for “red bull” — in the 1970s. The drink quickly became a favorite with truck drivers and other workers who needed to keep their energy high to complete their jobs. An Austrian entrepreneur named Dietrich Mateschitz discovered the drink in 1984 while in Asia on a sales trip and convinced Chaleo to allow him to help market the drink internationally. Rebranded under the name “Red Bull,” Chaleo and Mateschitz turned the locally-sold drink into an international hit sold in 70 countries.

The Red Bull brand has interests in sports, media and music, owning an F1 racing team, two football clubs, a magazine and a free HD channel broadcast in Europe. The brand also created the Red Bull New Year, No Limits event, which airs during the New Year’s period and features extreme sports superstars like Robbie Madison and Travis Pastrana.

On the music side, there is the Red Bull Music Academy, a series of travelling workshops dubbed “a platform for those who shape our musical future”; Red Bull Soundclash, a travelling, “battle of the bands”-type event serving both the rock and Hip-Hop genres; and Red Bull Thre3style, an international DJ contest with participants from up to 18 countries.

The ongoing SXSW Festival hosts a Red Bull Thre3style Showcase each year. Fittingly, this year’s showcase is tonight at 8th and Trinity in Austin, TX.

[Sources: BBC / Y!]