Red Bull has officially purchased a minority stake in Leeds United. The English side only just missed out on a chance of earning promotion back to the Premier League last weekend. As a result, the Whites will compete once again in the second-tiered EFL Championship for the 2024/25 season.

Red Bull’s move comes less than a year after 49ers Enterprises completed the full takeover of Leeds last summer. The American investment group is currently the private equity arm of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. The firm is essentially filled with various individuals, as well as the American football team, that collectively control the soccer club. Actor Will Ferrell recently joined as an investor.

49ers Enterprises previously purchased a 44% minority stake in Leeds back in 2018. Nevertheless, they eventually took over the team by buying out Andrea Radrizzani’s remaining shares in July of 2023. The agreement cost the new ownership around $215 million.

Red Bull also agrees multi-year deal with the club to be a shirt sponsor

By becoming a minority owner, Red Bull will also be the official shirt sponsor of Leeds. The energy drink is set to replace the club’s previous deal with BOXT. The sponsorship switch represents a fairly large increase in value compared to the previous deal.

“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,” stated Paraag Marathe, chairman of Leeds United.

“As chairman, our consortium of investment partners will be invaluable to me as we approach this important moment for the club, now and into the future. Red Bull’s addition is a historic milestone that will further empower the club to reach its full competitive potential.”

“We are delighted to be an important element and partner of Leeds United,” proclaimed Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff. “A club that is certainly one of the biggest in England and has a rich and successful history. The ambition to bring Leeds United back to the Premier League and establish themselves in the best football league in the world fits very well with Red Bull.”

Corporation joins team as Leeds has potential financial problems

Leeds joins a series of soccer teams falling under the Red Bull umbrella. This lengthy list includes New York Red Bulls, RB Leipzig, and Red Bull Salzburg. Nevertheless, the English side is not going to change its official name to include the energy drink’s branding.

Although the company is just joining Leeds as a minority investor, the move should increase revenue at the club. The exact slice of the pie that the company will receive is unclear. However, Red Bull will almost certainly inject millions of dollars into the Yorkshire team.

Red Bull has received plenty of criticism since they began buying soccer clubs nearly 20 years ago. Many dislike the notion of corporations buying clubs, changing their historic identity, and pouring huge amounts of money into them to help make an instant impact.

The summer transfer window will be a good indication of how much say Red Bull has in Leeds. In their first season as majority owners, 49ers Enterprises were careful with their spending during the previous summer window. The Americans generated a small profit in the transfer business during the 2023/24 campaign. Leeds generated a significant chunk of funds by selling USMNT star Tyler Adams to Bournemouth for around $29 million.

Nevertheless, Leeds could find themselves struggling to adhere to England’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR). The club may part ways with multiple key players this summer. Red Bull’s introduction, however, could help the club’s financial issues over the long haul.