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Featured Publisher: Pitch Publishing
The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured theyÕve secured a place as one of the UKÕs leading publishers of sporting material.

From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew MurtaghÕs superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range:

Sports Book of the Month

Wings of Change How the world’s biggest energy drink manufacturer made a mark in football By Karan Tejwani

Release date: 09th December, 2020
Publisher: Pitch Publishing

List Price: £9.79
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Like many products seeking to align themselves with sport, an energy drink launched in Thailand by Chaleo Yoovidhya in 1976 made its first impression on consumers by sponsoring Muay Thai, the country’s most popular contact sport. This combination of fighting and the sponsor’s product consisting of caffeine, glucose, vitamins and taurine, would prove hugely successful.

The success was spotted by an Austrian marketer, Dietrich Mateschitz, while on a business trip to Thailand where he noticed how quickly the drink had cured his jet lag.

Through an existing link between their respective companies, Mateschitz made contact with Yoovidhya, explaining how he believed the drink could enjoy international appeal – and even greater success. Yoovidhya liked the idea, Mateschitz quit his job and in 1984, both took a 49% stake in Red Bull GmbH, Yoovidhya’s son owning the remaining 2%.

Over the next three years, the pair concentrated on making their drink more appealing to Western palates. Meanwhile, their sponsorship of sport, especially of the extreme variety, gathered pace.

The company’s sporting involvement has generated phenomenal results. From its inaugural ‘flying day’, introduced in 1991, a platform for home-made aircraft and their owners who attempt to fly from the end of a pier, to the 2012 space jump by Felix Baumgartner who leapt 128,000 feet and became the first human to break the sound barrier. Generally speaking, Red Bull do something a bit different.

That was until 2005 when the company took its sporting association to a different level and acquired Austria Salzburg FC. The acquisition was initially unpopular. Red Bull changed the club’s name, colours, crest and culture; it’s a formula they’ve applied consistently while expanding a burgeoning football club empire in New York, Leipzig, São Paulo, and Ghana.

Karan Tejwani has written an engrossing book about a marketing phenomenon that became a mainstream sporting success. Indeed, under the assured guidance of Ralf Rangnick, Red Bull have shown a remarkable aptitude for administering footballing clubs and, most importantly, for developing young players (Sadio Mané) and coaches (Julian Nagelsmann) at each of them.

Red Bull’s methods are not everyone’s cup of tea, but their success offers a template for other would-be corporate owners of the beautiful game’s professional clubs. For that reason alone, Wings of Change is a must-read.


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