Since debuting in 2018 as a featured competition at the Nitro World Games action sports event, Nitro Rallycross has enjoyed a considerable rate of growth.
In 2021 it became a five-round domestic racing series, while this year that number is set to double, with events across three continents, while it has also become the first US-based motorsport series to fully embrace electric vehicles in its premier class.
We’ve already heard what Nitro RX creator Travis Pastrana wants to do on the ground to further improve race events, but what can the series do itself to maintain that upwards trajectory?
The answer may well come in the form of fresh investment, with the news that the series’ parent firm, Thrill One Sports & Entertainment, has been acquired in a $300 million deal by a consortium that includes UFC president Dana White, television producer Craig Piligian, and skateboarding icon Rob Dyrdek (through his Dyrdek Machine venture creation business).
Thrill One CEO Joe Carr, himself a former senior executive at UFC and so no stranger to the extensive growth of sporting and entertainment franchises, is confident the new investment can take the already strong business to the next level.
“We formed Thrill One to create a centralized action sports platform for athletes, brands and fans,” he said.
“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.”
Like its Nitro RX subsidiary, Thrill One – previously known as Superjacket Productions – has gone through considerable growth since its 2020 founding, with the ultra-popular Nitro Circus franchise and Street League Skateboarding also among its most prominent properties.
Nitro RX’s planned 10-event calendar forms just a part of Thrill One and Nitro Circus’ live slate for 2022, with more than 70 events set to take place worldwide across the company’s extended portfolio.
Speaking of his new investment, White said the ongoing expansion of Thrill One and its various properties reminds him of the early days of his experience with UFC, which has grown into a multi-billion dollar business since he became involved with it in the early 2000s.
“I’ve been a big fan of the Nitro guys for a while now,” he said. “They are always doing the most insane stuff and constantly raising the bar. The potential reminds me of the early days of UFC.”
For Dyrdek, being involved brings him somewhat full circle, having founded Thrill One predecessor Superjacket Productions and successful Thrill One franchise, Street League Skateboarding.
“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,” he said.
“I look forward to continuing to partner with this incredible group of investors in creating game-changing content and redefining action sports.”
The acquisition comes not long after Thrill One announced the biggest sponsorship deal in action sports history when it joined forces with A Shoc energy.