Thrill One Sports & Entertainment Unites Nitro Circus, Street League Skateboarding, Superjacket Productions
The combination creates world’s largest independent action-sports operator
Respected investment firms The Raine Group and Causeway Media Partners, with backing provided by commercial finance firm MidCap Financial, have combined industry-leading Nitro Circus, Street League Skateboarding (SLS), and Superjacket Productions to create Thrill One Sports & Entertainment. Thrill One immediately becomes the world’s largest independent action-sports operator and media company, and former UFC and World Surf League senior executive Joe Carr will lead the combined company as CEO.
In addition to uniting elite athletes, top talent, and renowned brands under one banner, Thrill One will further cement its position as the leading producer of action-sports content and events through the launch of additional properties and pursuit of strategic acquisitions.
“This groundbreaking alliance combines three prized brands into a single entity, transforming what has historically been a fragmented landscape into the biggest platform in action sports,” says Carr. “Action sports are enjoying a renaissance right now with Olympic inclusion in 2020, the democratization of media, and the worldwide fanbase at an all-time high. I look forward to working with our athletes and talented management team to drive organic growth in our existing businesses while also identifying potential M&A opportunities and complementary IP.”
Driven by both the incredible skills of action sports’ top athletes and the daring exploits of its bold daredevils, Nitro Circus creates critically acclaimed events and spectacular sports competitions across a portfolio that includes Nitro World Games, Nitro Rallycross, and Nitro Circus Live.
“At Nitro Circus, we have the amazing opportunity to work with the best athletes, content creators, and technical geniuses in the business, reaching fans worldwide,” adds action-sports icon Travis Pastrana, co-founder, Nitro Circus. “Now, by teaming up with SLS and Superjacket to create this game-changing team, we can pull our resources together with the unified goal of growing the fun and progression of action sports on a global level.”
SLS is the world’s premier street-skateboarding–competition series, featuring an international roster of elite professionals and serving as the lead pathway to Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020. Superjacket Productions is a leading full-service video- and film-production house created by Rob Dyrdek and Shane Nickerson, the minds behind hit television programs Ridiculousness, The Dude Perfect Show, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and Rob & Big.
“Capturing mind-blowing content is essential to everything we do,” offers Dyrdek, who is CEO of Dyrdek Machine, the venture studio responsible for founding both SLS and Superjacket. “Whether it’s the elite competition of SLS or the outrageous antics of Ridiculousness, audiences of all ages are drawn to it. Now, by joining forces with this influential group of athletes, brands, and investors, Joe and team are set to take Thrill One to a whole new level.”
Thrill One Sports & Entertainment is hitting the ground running, with more than 30 events scheduled worldwide this year across its extensive portfolio. The company will also produce more than 100 hours of live sports coverage and deliver more than 175 episodes of original programming this year. Thrill One also boasts one of the largest aggregate social-media audiences in action sports, with more than 40 million engaged followers across its multiple brand pages and channels.
The Raine Group is a global merchant bank known for its partnerships with creator-driven media and entertainment companies that help drive growth objectives. Past investments include Vice Media, Imagine Entertainment, Matt Stone & Trey Parker’s Important Studios, and Draft Kings.
Causeway Media Partners is a growth-stage venture-capital firm focused on sports media, sports technology, and related companies. Causeway is led by Wyc Grousbeck, former general partner at Highland Capital Partners and lead owner of the Boston Celtics; Mark Wan, co-founder of Three Arch Partners and part owner in both the Boston Celtics and the San Francisco 49ers; and Bob Higgins, co-founder of Highland Capital Partners. Limited partners of Causeway include team owners from the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other sports leagues.