Red Bull Advances in Cycling World by Acquiring Majority Stake in Bora-Hansgrohe

By Monica Buck

In a significant move within the cycling community, energy drink giant Red Bull is set to acquire a 51% controlling stake in the Bora-Hansgrohe team. This move marks a major shift in Red Bull’s approach to sports sponsorships, showcasing their commitment to establishing a stronger presence in road cycling.

The German WorldTour team, Bora-Hansgrohe, has confirmed its plans for a long-term partnership with Red Bull. “Red Bull is planning to expand its involvement in road cycling and is aiming for a partnership with Bora-hansgrohe,” stated the team.

“By becoming a partner in Team Manager Ralph Denk’s operating company, Red Bull strives to complement the team’s portfolio of existing long-term main sponsors, who will remain on a long-term basis. The planned joint venture has been notified to the relevant antitrust authority,” the team announced.

The Bora-Hansgrohe team refrained from further comments, citing the ongoing review by the Austrian antitrust authority. They mentioned, “as we do not wish to anticipate the ongoing review by the Austrian antitrust authority.”

An official media day is scheduled in Mallorca on Wednesday, January 10, for the team.

Despite acquiring Primož Roglič from Jumbo-Visma for 2024, Team Manager Denk clarified that Red Bull’s funds or investments did not influence this decision. The team’s 2024 lineup features notable riders like Aleksandr Vlasov, Dani Martínez, Jai Hindley, Sam Welsford, Lennard Kämna, and Bob Jungels, although it saw the departure of Cian Uijtdebroeks following a contract dispute.

Red Bull’s ownership of the German World Tour team indicates a strategic pivot from their traditional focus on individual athlete sponsorships. Their current portfolio includes sponsorships of athletes like Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Blanka Vas (SD Worx), Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike), and Anton Palzer, a former ski mountaineer turned Bora-Hansgrohe rider. While Van Aert and Pidcock have individual agreements regarding helmet sponsorships during their races, Red Bull’s move to majority ownership in a cycling team is a significant escalation in their engagement with the sport.