Raptor Consumer Partners (“RCP”), a consumer-focused growth equity firm, has invested in Spartan Race, Inc., a global obstacle racing series.
John Burns, managing director at RCP, will join Spartan Race’s board of directors. In connection with RCP’s investment, Spartan Race will also work closely with Raptor Accelerator and Raptor Sports Properties, gaining access to their strong relationships and deep expertise in the sports industry. The terms of RCP’s investment were not disclosed. RCP’s investment in Spartan Race is the firm’s third investment in a rapidly expanding Boston-area market for growth stage companies. In 2012, RCP invested in a next generation food company, Unreal Brands (“Unreal”), and women’s apparel brand Nic + Zoe.
“The sport of obstacle racing is experiencing unprecedented growth and we are thrilled to partner with Spartan Race, a leader in this dynamic market,” said Burns. “We look forward to working closely with Joe Desena, Spartan Race’s founder, to expand Spartan Race and to establish a corporate headquarters in the Boston metropolitan area. Spartan Race is our third investment in the Boston market and we are proud to support them in their mission to build the sport of obstacle racing.”
Founded in 2010, Spartan Race offers obstacle races for athletes seeking to break free from traditional physical activities and participate in grittier alternatives to triathlons and marathons. The series has become a lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of participants, with the average participant losing eight to twelve pounds after signing up for a Spartan Race. The organization expects to register three times more racers in 2012 than in the previous year, with 36 events scheduled in 2012 in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Spartan Race is also continuing to expand on its strong foundation in the Northeast and build its presence in the Boston area. Spartan Race intends to open a corporate headquarters in Boston this fall, and on the weekend of Nov. 17 will hold the first-ever obstacle race time trial at Fenway Park, in celebration of the stadium’s centennial.
Desena said, “Raptor Consumer Partners and its Raptor affiliates will play an important role in developing our brand and giving us the ability to offer more races for more people looking to climb, crawl, jump and get dirty. Their support has been crucial in helping us extend our global reach, and I am pleased to report that we already have eight new countries lined up to host races. We are also very excited to bring Spartan Race to the Boston community and to celebrate Fenway’s 100th anniversary with the inaugural obstacle race in the celebrated home of the Boston Red Sox.”
Jim Pallotta, Chairman and Managing Director of Raptor Capital Management, said, “At Raptor, we always look to propel our investments by leveraging the extensive network and expertise of Raptor Consumer Partners, Raptor Accelerator and Raptor Sports Properties, and we believe tremendous opportunities lie ahead for Spartan Race. I am excited to partner with Spartan Race to bring such high-energy, top-rate sporting events to the Boston community.”
Spartan Race, voted Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, is the world’s leading obstacle racing series and the first of its kind to have global rankings. Spartan Race is a timed event series featuring races at three escalating distances in locations worldwide that culminate in a World Championship Finale with cash and prizes for the champions. While featuring competitive elite heats, Spartan Races are for athletes of all levels and abilities and are geared towards ripping people off their couches and into the outdoors.
About Raptor Consumer Partners
Raptor Consumer Partners (“RCP”) is the consumer private equity arm of Raptor Capital Management LP and is led by James Pallotta, John Burns and Andrew Spellman. RCP invests in emerging brands and seeks partner companies that have an out-sized potential for disrupting the marketplace. Partner companies include consumer-facing products, services or technologies that have a unique product offering or positioning, address unmet consumer needs, and have a clear path to accelerating growth.