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Red Bull buys minority stake in Leeds, adding English club to portfolio

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LEEDS, England (AP) — Red Bull has bought a minority stake in English soccer club Leeds in a deal that will also see the energy drink company become the team's shirt sponsor next season.

The club announced on Thursday a "multi-year agreement" with Red Bull, whose other soccer interests include owning Leipzig in Germany and having a longstanding association with Salzburg in Austria.

Leeds missed out on a return to the Premier League for next season by losing to Southampton in the second-tier Championship playoff final on Sunday.

"The ambition to bring Leeds back to the Premier League and establish themselves in the best football league in the world fits very well with Red Bull," said Oliver Mintzlaff, CEO of Red Bull corporate projects and investments. "We look forward to the partnership and are optimistic and energized about the future."

The club said the deal "brings in new commercial revenues as well as additional capital investment for a minority ownership stake that will further enable the club to compete on and off the pitch as the club seek promotion next season."

The name and logo of the club will remain unchanged, said Leeds, whose U.S. ownership includes two major-winning golfers in Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

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