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A SHOC looks to take the lead in performance energy category

By Chris Smith
The drink manufacturer will now be aligned with all Thrill One properties, such as Nitro Circus.Courtesy of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment

Thrill One Sports & Entertainment took a major step last week when it announced its first portfolio-wide sponsorship, a landmark two-year deal valued at $12 million to $15 million with energy drink manufacturer A SHOC that will align the brand with all Thrill One properties, including Nitro Circus, Nitro Rallycross and Street League Skateboarding. The deal, which comprises a rights fee and $1 million in A SHOC equity, is believed to be the largest by average annual value in action sports history.

Joe Carr, Thrill One’s CEO, said the significant baseline commitment will allow the company to make a greater investment in its event production, and that A SHOC will provide further support for Thrill One’s live and digital offerings. “They’re going to start building out athlete locker rooms and green rooms around our events, which we didn’t have historically, and really elevating the athlete experience on-site,” said Carr.

The wide-ranging sponsorship is a major push from the fitness-forward A SHOC as it aims to take the lead in an increasingly competitive performance energy category. The company’s investors include 7-Eleven venture arm 7-Ventures and Keurig Dr Pepper, the latter of which has already given the recently launched brand nationwide distribution.

“When you go that wide that fast and have that opportunity, you have to build hype a lot quicker,” said A SHOC co-founder and president Scot De Lorme. “Thrill One will really give us that shot in the arm now from a brand awareness standpoint.” The company is also wrapping a Series A funding round to be announced next month.

A SHOC’s strategy relies in part on an athlete roster that includes skateboarder Paul “P-Rod” Rodriguez, who joined the brand in November. “Anytime I’ve had any other drink sponsors, or a lot of sponsors in general, I’ve never been directly in contact with the guys who actually own and operate it,” said Rodriguez. “It’s cool to be so in touch with them, and they allow me to be as involved as I want to be.”

Looking ahead, Carr said Thrill One is in the midst of negotiating a series of additional sponsor deals, including both renewals and with potential newcomers in the alcohol, CBD, crypto and telecom categories, most of which would be new areas of business. Carr also said Thrill One is eyeing potential acquisition targets, particularly in motorsports, with the hopes of getting a deal done within the next six months.

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