Al Gosling: Extreme Group
Focus: TV and retail
Company: Extreme Group
Gosling started the business in 1995, while still in his early 20s selling extreme sports-based programmes to broadcasters. He then launched the Extreme Sports channel in a $20m joint venture with the programming arm of cable operator UPC and secured £2.7m in backing from highly successful entrepreneurs and serial investors Nigel Wray (Domino’s Pizza) and Chris Akers (Sports Internet Group). The channel now sits at the centre of a range of brands, including Extreme Drinks, Clothing and Retail. The 55-person business, formed in 1995, turns over £24m turnover – from £7.5m last year and Gosling has spent time recently on the fundraising trail, attempting to secure £16m to finance a Mobile arm. Opening high street stores and acquisitions are priorities for the next year or so.
Gosling remains as chairman and CEO of the Extreme Group, which has grown to become a huge lifestyle brand encompassing action sports, music and art. The company hosts 80 events around the world and supports over 100 ambassadors. In 2010, Extreme launched a sports, leisure real estate development arm, as well as hotel and resorts arm, while 2012 saw the addition of Extreme Consumer Products. In 2014, the company launched Extreme Events and Extreme Marketing – which has worked with the likes of Nat West, M&C Saatchi and Ford.