Press Release | July 19, 2022
Dyrdek Machine and Dana White Join as Co-investors in the World’s Leading Action Sports Platform
This is a press release from Thrill One…
Costa Mesa, CA (July 19, 2022) – Fiume Capital and Juggernaut Capital Partners have announced their acquisition of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment (Thrill One) from The Raine Group and Causeway Media Partners. Dyrdek Machine, UFC President Dana White and television producer Craig Piligian have co-invested, with acquisition financing provided by Prudential Private Capital.
Thrill One was formed in 2020 by uniting industry-leading brands Nitro Circus, Nitro Rallycross (Nitro RX), Street League Skateboarding (SLS) and Thrill One Media (formerly Superjacket Productions) to become the world’s leading producer of action sports events and original content. The latter two of these brands were both founded by entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek, who also participated in the acquisition as a co-investor via his venture creation business, Dyrdek Machine.
“We formed Thrill One to create a centralized action sports platform for athletes, brands and fans,” said Thrill One CEO Joe Carr. “We have aggregated the largest audience and community in the space, and I am beyond excited to partner with this group of investors and individuals who have built businesses and entire sports from the ground up. The additional resources will fuel the growth and expansion of this platform.”
Fiume and Juggernaut are again teaming up in a vertical that is primed for opportunistic M&A and further consolidation. The firms have partnered in 3 STEP Sports to create the largest youth sports operating platform in the country. Fiume’s expertise in sports and media coupled with Juggernaut’s consumer focus will bring additional value to the company and continue to focus on serving the interests of a young, passionate fan base. The resources and capital of the new ownership group will allow Thrill One to pursue organic growth initiatives and strategic acquisitions, which have been a key part of the company’s roadmap since its inception.
“Our investment approach is predicated on supporting excellent management teams as they build premier businesses in their respective industries,” said David Hirschfeld, CIO for Fiume. “Thrill One is the leader in action sports and we are excited to help the company and its management team at this inflection point.”
“Thrill One has exploded onto the scene in the last two years,” said John Shulman, founder and managing partner of Juggernaut Capital Partners. “Our considerable investment demonstrates our belief that there is much more to come in this category, and we are eager to support Thrill One in its meteoric rise.”
Building on the momentum of its highly successful US tour in 2021 and appearances on TBS’ “Go Big Show” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent Extreme,” Nitro Circus Live is expanding its global presence in 2022 by adding stops in Australia, New Zealand and Canada as part of a 40-date world tour. The brand will also host its world championship of action sports, Nitro World Games, this October in Brisbane, Australia.
Nitro Rallycross, a disruptive new force in motorsport, made its series debut last year and is expanding to a 10-race global run across three continents for the 2022-23 season. Nitro RX is also launching the revolutionary FC1-X electric supercar, the most powerful rallycross vehicle ever built, making it the first US-based series to go fully electric.
“I’ve been a big fan of the Nitro guys for a while now,” said Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. “They are always doing the most insane stuff and constantly raising the bar. The potential reminds me of the early days of UFC.”
SLS, the pinnacle of professional skateboarding, will return to indoor arenas this season for the first time in three years. The Championship Tour will showcase 50 of the world’s best male and female street skateboarders including Olympic medalists and former world champions. Each stop will also feature a unique, custom-built concrete skate plaza, an element that has differentiated SLS from its peers for over a decade.
Thrill One Media continues to build on its legacy of hit television programs like “Ridiculousness,” “The Dude Perfect Show,” and “Rob & Big,” and has several unscripted titles currently in development. The all-media production company will make a push into both scripted and competition formats later this year.
“It’s a dream come true to know that both SLS and Superjacket Productions are in such great hands with Thrill One’s management team and are positioned for such a promising future with this transaction,” said Rob Dyrdek. “I look forward to continuing to partner with this incredible group of investors in creating game-changing content and redefining action sports.”
In 2022, the Thrill One portfolio will collectively host more than 70 live events, deliver roughly 100 hours of live sports content and produce over 300 episodes of linear television. Thrill One boasts a massive social audience with more than 40 million followers across its various channels. It recently announced the largest sponsorship deal in action sports history with A SHOC Energy, making the energy beverage brand the official energy partner of Thrill One.
Fiume Capital was advised by Milbank LLP, Juggernaut was advised by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Thrill One and The Raine Group were advised by Sidley Austin LLP.
Financing for the transaction was led and provided by Prudential Private Capital. CION Investment Corp. and MGG Investment Group were also co-lenders in the financing.
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