The Next Big Media Company: GoPro Gives You Wings?

GoPro hopes its summer IPO can turn a single-product company into a media superpower. Sound familiar?

Sep 8, 2014
Outside Magazine
felix baumgartner gopro red bull outside

Felix Baumgartner has ties to both GoPro and Red Bull—his jump from the stratosphere was sponsored by Red Bull, and he filmed it with a GoPro camera.    Photo: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull

GoPro made its name with wearable cameras, but that’s just part of CEO Nick Woodman’s grand vision: to grow the company into a multiplatform media behemoth.

In June, GoPro went public, raising $427 million and, despite analysts’ dour predictions, nearly doubling its share price to $49.90 in the first week. As part of its effort to expand beyond cameras, the company now sponsors athletes like Shaun White and events like the annual GoPro Mountain Games in Colorado (full disclosure: Outside is a sponsor).

In other words, GoPro has borrowed from the playbook of another single-product business: Red Bull. White used to be a Red Bull athlete, and Woodman cites founder Dietrich Mateschitz as a business idol.

To further compete, says Paul Meeks, a tech-industry analyst at Saturna Capital, the company will have to parlay the output from its ubiquitous cameras into TV and movie deals. Currently, you can watch GoPro videos on Xbox Live and Virgin America flights, but will immersing the world in sick POV footie be enough? We pitted the two companies against each other to predict who’ll come out on top.

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