Podcast Ep 36: Joe Carr, CEO of Thrill One Sports Entertainment & Former UFC and World Surf League Executive

Today’s guest is Joe Carr – CEO of Thrill One Sports Entertainment. For context, Thrill One is the parent company of three exceptional entertainment properties – Street League Skateboarding, Nitro Circus, and Superjacket Productions. Previously, Joe was the President of the World Surf League and a Senior VP at the UFC. 

In today’s episode, Joe and I discuss the in’s and out’s of Thrill One, what it was like becoming a CEO, and how he goes about raising capital.  Joe and I also touched upon Nitro Circus, Street League Skateboarding, and Superjacket Productions and what each brings to the table.  The conversation led to topics like some hurdles Joe has faced in his life, along with how he values different properties.  I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

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Show Notes:

1:00 – Thrill One in 2020. “For whatever reason, nobody has really created that pinnacle property in the action sports space that you’d expect in any sports vertical. Whether you think of the NBA with basketball or the NFL with football or whatever it is, there is always that top tier professional league. And if you look at action sports, it’s always been pretty fragmented.”

9:30 – The Beginnings of Thrill One. “We’ve owned Nitro Circus for 5-6 years now, we’ve done some good things with it, we’ve invested a lot of money, we’ve taken it from more of an Australian Touring business to being more of a global brand.”

20:00 – Confidence & Capital Raising. “At that point in my life, if I was going to take a shot, I was going to take it then. I didn’t have kids or anything like that. Or like a family to worry about. If I’m going to roll the dice and really take a shot at something entrepreneurial with real upside, I better take it because I didn’t know if I’d have that opportunity and level of comfort ever again.”

31:00 – Valuable Properties. “Hopefully, if you’re the biggest game in town, you have the strongest relationships with the athletes and that’s symbiotic and complementary and you can create value together. And that, in a nutshell, is what we are trying to do.”

39:00 – Nitro Circus. “Who are our next crossover stars who have that hook that can go mainstream? And that’s how you shine a light on your sport.”

45:00 – Surprises as a CEO. “I think the challenge for me, or at least what’s different, is I’ve stepped into new companies before and you come in at a certain level and you have new reports and you have to find your way around things. But I think walking in to lead an organization is tough.”

53:00 – Next Milestones. “We’ve had one event of Nitro Rallycross – our racing series. The races are amazing. There are massive gap jumps. It’s like Hot Wheels cars racing around the track.”

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