Travis Pastrana announced on January 10 that he had signed with Black Rifle Coffee Company after a long relationship with Red Bull. He joined the BRCC Motorsports team that features NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson, off-road racing champion BJ Baldwin, and Freeride Jet Ski athlete Mark Gomez among others. He also completed a long-overdue partnership.
“It’s a dream come true,” BRCC founder and CEO Evan Hafer told Heavy during a January interview. “I think I’ve been following Travis for as long as probably the Internet has existed. I’ve been such a fan of his for so long. … Then once we actually developed a relationship, you find out that the guy is just an incredible human being all the way around. He’s a salt-of-the-earth guy who’s truly as authentic as you would imagine. He is an incredible human.
“And so, honestly, it’s very humbling — for a lot of different reasons — to start something in my garage, and then be following somebody that’s, I think, probably the most iconic action sports figure in American history outside of Evel Knievel. So it’s truly inspiring for a guy like me to be able to just work with Travis. It’s incredible.”
Pastrana’s impact on extreme sports, as well as his friendship, played a significant role in BRCC bringing him into the fold. However, the way that he treats the fans was an equally important factor. Hafer saw firsthand examples of Pastrana’s willingness to sign autographs, talk to fans, and pose for photographs.
“He’s so much different than other guys,” Hafer added. “You’ll see other guys, they’ll come back to their trailers or they’ll sign a couple of things. Travis will stay. He’ll talk. He’ll keep signing. He’s such a people person that I’ve never… I wish all politicians were like that. He’s such a people person.”
Hafer’s Relationship With Pastrana Has Featured Little Birds & Boat Races
While Pastrana is a new addition to the BRCC Motorsports family, he has been friends with the people in charge of the company for several years. They have spent many hours together and joined forces for some unique videos.
Jarred Taylor, a founding member of BRCC and the Senior Vice President of Business Development, first worked with Street Bike Tommy to create content before the company joined forces with Pastrana. This early partnership led to a considerable amount of time hanging out with all of the Nitro Circus crew and, eventually, a scene in the documentary film “Action Figures 2.”
This sequence featured Pilot X maneuvering a Little Bird helicopter with miniguns blazing while Taylor hung from the side and Pastrana slid a Subaru underneath. To add some of that extra Nitro Circus flair, Ronnie Mac jumped a dirt bike over the Little Bird while cars exploded in the foreground.
Along with creating a memorable segment for the documentary, Taylor also played a major role in another competition by setting up Hafer to take part in Pastrana’s P1 Offshore Invitational boat race. The BRCC team featured Hafer, five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser, former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, and Navy SEAL-turned-NASCAR driver Taylor Canfield as they competed with a variety of big names out on the water.
Not many people would agree to take part in a boat race created by Pastrana, especially without prior information. Hafer is one of the few. He agreed to go steer a ridiculously fast boat while facing off with Kurt Busch, Brian Deegan, and many other prominent figures.
“Jarred is the ultimate networker, and everybody loves Jarred,” Hafer said. “He doesn’t network intentionally. He’s not like a shoe salesman or something. He’s just that guy that everybody loves him. You’re best friends instantly. He knows everybody.
“So Jarred called me. He’s like, ‘Hey, do you want to go race boats?’ So a couple years ago, I made this decision where I don’t care what Jarred asks me to do. I just say, ‘yes.’ Because — and what it is, is kind of like opening up my free spirit to a certain degree where I’m like, ‘whatever he asks, I’ll just say yes.’ And I don’t care what it is. So if he asks me to go to Florida or Belize or wherever the hell he wants me to go, I’ll just say ‘yes.'”
The decision to always say yes has paid dividends and led to relationships with Pastrana and all of his associates. Now those relationships will continue to grow even further with sponsorships at numerous events and, most likely, several videos for BRCC.
There Will Be a Focus on Helping Others
A key part of BRCC is helping the first responders and the veteran community, especially those that have been physically injured by war. The BRCC Fund has supported numerous charitable organizations over the years while the coffee company has continued to grow in size. BRCC has also hosted veterans for adaptive athlete archery competitions and sponsored other events that provide critical support for the community.
This work will remain a priority in the coming years, but there will now be some opportunities for Pastrana to get involved. He and Hafer have had conversations over the years about bringing more attention to the racing community, those that have sustained career-altering injuries in racing, and those that have been injured in war. They see a crossover between the groups, as well as opportunities to provide support to them all.
There are some initiatives already in the process, including one that focuses on rally racing. Hafer explained that they have put in efforts to get adaptive athletes into racing, whether it is in rally cars or UTVs. They built some cars that will work for those that have lost one or both legs so that they can take on the unique style of racing.
These initiatives will have more funding as BRCC makes another major change. The company will go public in early 2022, providing supporters with the opportunity to purchase stock. Though a portion has already gone to the charitable arm of the company to further support the veteran community.
“Part of going public is we’ve donated a portion of our stock to the BRCC fund, BRCC Gives, so they’ll be well funded for the future,” Hafer said. “There’ll be over $5 million in stock. So that’ll open up a lot more initiatives for us. And one of the big focuses is not — we’ll call it recreational therapy — but long-term therapy and how we focus on that.”