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SUPER CASH BROS.: Red Bull GmbH vs. City Football Group

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It's a tale of the tape! Join us as we break down the two corporate empires at odds this weekend in Harrison. The gloves are coming off.

Peter Schatz/Getty Images

There was a boxing match in Las Vegas last weekend. Numerous humans watched it. But it was, in every sense, a boxing match and not a fight. Not a brawl.

This weekend, however -- as the immortal Jim Ross would say -- Red Bull Arena is in for a real slobberknocker.

This is no welterweight spar, with the loser exiting the arena wearing an earnest Manny Pacquiao smile. No, Sunday promises to be explosive. (Especially if the ruthlessly kinetic Andrew "Hulk Rage" Jacobson returns from his red card suspension with the kind of marauding gusto his body of work strongly suggests.)

Despite the striking nature of the on-field narrative, it isn't just the players and fans that are on an unprecedented collision course.

Indeed, two gigantic, infamous, occasionally controversial ownership groups will clash head-on for the first time: an Austrian carbonated beverage empire and a centuries-old Emirati dynasty.

Welcome to "Super Cash Bros."

Who's your pick to score the knockout? Time to tell the tale of the tape!

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER RECORD

NYCFC: Joined MLS in 2015 as an expansion team. Overall MLS record: 1-5-3.

  • One designated player, no true holding midfielders, and no consistent wingers on active roster.
  • No soccer-specific stadium.
  • Widely mocked and denigrated within MLS and around the world.

NYRB: Founding member of MLS in 1995 as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. Won 2013 Supporters' Shield. Overall MLS record: 235-244-123.

  • Strong reputation with designated players.
  • Highly-regarded soccer-specific stadium in a lowly-regarded area.
  • Major League Soccer's premier "long-suffering fan base." Hey, remember this guy?
WINNER: Red Bulls by a wide margin, essentially by default.

*          *          *

LIQUID-BASED CLAIM TO FAME

NYCFC: Petroleum, the crux of the al Nahyan dynasty's outrageous fortune.

  • Essential to the modern global industrial revolution-- petroleum literally powers the world.
  • Equally essential to the systematic destruction of the earth and its atmosphere.
  • No sugar-free version is currently available.

NYRB: A South Asian energy drink packed with caffeine, taurine, and B-vitamins.

  • Though not strictly necessary, stimulant-based beverages do, in some ways, power the world.
  • The basis for the formula was actually devised and released in Thailand eight years before Red Bull GmbH was founded.
  • Available in a sugar-free version, which is coincidentally sold in a sky-blue can.
WINNER: New York City by a narrow margin.

*          *          *

FEARLESS LEADERS

NYCFC: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Bin Zayed bin Khalifa al Nahyan, born 1970 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

  • Deputy Prime Minister of an entire country.
  • Family's fortune estimated to exceed $500 billion.
  • Decorated camel-racer.

RBNY: Dietrich Mateschitz, born 1944 in Sankt Marein im Mürztal, Austria.

  • Company operates in 164 countries.
  • Owns an island off the coast of Fiji.
  • Accomplished pilot.
WINNER: New York City by a narrow margin. Like, a race-camel going through the eye of a needle. That type of narrow.
*          *          *

SPORTING PORTFOLIO

NYCFC: City Football Group operates two other soccer clubs, and owns a minority stake in another. They also own Abu Dhabi's strongest team in the UAE's Arabian Gulf League.

  • CFG's Manchester City has won two of the last three Barclays Premier League championships, and won the 2011 F.A. Cup.
  • Melbourne City finished fifth out of ten in their most recent campaign in the Australian A-League. They feature Slovenian international Robert Koren and Irish veteran Damien Duff. CFG also holds a 20% stake in Yokohama F. Marinos, the longest-serving team in the top flight of Japanese soccer.
  • Operates Al Jazira Club, Abu Dhabi's top pro soccer team. Additionally, AJC competes in volleyball, handball, and basketball.

NYRB: Red Bull GmbH features a diverse portfolio of sporting interests all over the world.

  • Majority ownership of numerous additional soccer clubs: RB Salzburg (Austria), RB Liepzig (Germany), RB Brasil, and RB Ghana.
  • Numerous championship racing teams: Red Bull Racing (Formula 1, England), Scuderia Toro Rosso (Formula 1, Italy), and Stock Car Brasil.
  • Lead sponsor of Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Flugtag, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, and two ice hockey teams (EC Red Bull Salzburg and EHC Red Bull Munich).
WINNER: Red Bulls by a wide margin.

*          *          *

BRANDING SUCCESS

NYCFC: City Football Group is one of the new kids on the block, but that kid's parents are loaded.

  • Sky blue color scheme. Etihad Airways. Strong connotation of modern, trans-national luxury.
  • Fully embraces its "sugar daddy" reputation as a new-money entity.
  • Widely accused of cultivating a "plastic," prefabricated sporting culture, especially in New York.

NYRB: Red Bull's market share speaks for itself. So does New Jersey, if you have the ability to smell.

  • "Red Bull gives you wings."
  • Available in Sugarfree, Zero Calories, Total Zero, Red Edition (cranberry), Blue Edition (blueberry), Lime Edition, Yellow Edition (tropical fruit), Shot (concentrated form), Orange Zero Edition, and Cherry Zero Edition.
  • Due to perceived health concerns, Red Bull is banned in Kuwait for children under 16.
WINNER: Red Bulls by a wide margin.

*          *          *

Time to tally the scores! Across our five metrics, Red Bull wins three by a wide margin, while City Football Group wins two by a narrow margin. Our final tally, then?

City Football Group wins by a country kilometer.

How, you ask? Well...

The short answer is that they bought it.

That's smart money right there! I mean, have you checked the market price of crud recently?