Rugged Maniac started back in 2010 in the obstacle course racing industry. It was one of the early adopters of the sport in the New England area of the United States. The company grew an underground following in the area with upwards of 10,000 people at some of their events. Rugged was thrust onto the national scene after their appearance on Shark Tank and $1.75 million dollar investment from sports mogul Mark Cuban.
Yesterday, it was announced that New Media Investment Group, a print and online media company has acquired majority interest in Rugged Events Holding LLC which produces Rugged Maniac for $10.4 million dollars.
New Media Investment Group Inc. one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced the acquisition of a majority interest in Rugged Events Holding LLC (“Rugged Events”) for $10.4 million. Rugged Events is the production company behind the Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race series and more than 90 premier endurance events in the U.S and Canada…
Following the acquisition, Rugged Events will become a key component of New Media’s events company, GateHouse Live. GateHouse Live commenced in 2015 and has grown organically over the past three years to earn approximately $20 million in revenue over the last twelve months. With the addition of Rugged Events, GateHouse Live now hosts over 460 events in over 300 markets in North America, with 650,000 annual attendees, and a database of over 5.1 million users. GateHouse Live is also the only national media events company to own and operate a network of endurance events across the country.
“There’s an important relationship between participatory sports and media, which GateHouse allows us to fully realize,” said Bradford Scudder, Chief Executive Officer of Rugged Events. “This acquisition allows us to accelerate our growth in both new and existing markets, while also making us the leading multi-platform solution for brands that want to reach the endurance sport audience through a combination of media and experiential events.”
This acquisition deepens a core element of New Media's events company, which has seen robust growth over the past two years. In addition to endurance events, GateHouse Live also specializes in high school and community awards, food and wine festivals, and other highly engaging community experiences.
“Owning both events and media outlets in local markets allows us to deeply connect with communities while also providing a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind platform for our partners to engage with consumers in a meaningful and impactful way,” said Jason Taylor, President of New Media Ventures Group and President of GateHouse Live.
“Our entire team has worked hard over the past eight years to build a portfolio of fun and challenging events, while also developing industry-leading production capabilities,” said Rob Dickens, Chief Operating Officer of Rugged Events. “We’re excited to bring our experience and access to hundreds of thousands of active lifestyle enthusiasts to GateHouse Live.”
Mr. Scudder and Mr. Dickens, co-founders of Rugged Events, will contribute to GateHouse Live in expanded roles while retaining a minority interest in Rugged Events.