Spotlight: Rad Season Focuses on Action Sports Traveler Market


There are plenty of opportunities for fans of action sports to travel around for various events. But there isn’t a lot of information and assistance available for those travelers. That’s where Rad Season comes in.

The company provides an online resource and platform specifically for fans of action sports. Read more about the business below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

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What the Business Does

Provides a platform for action sports travelers.



Founder Oli Russell-Cowan told Small Business Trends, “Rad Season helps you travel to events for the action sports you love; with over 1,100 events in the database, we’re the world’s first platform bridging the industry gap between online travel agent, event directory, and media. We specialize in the adventure travel and action sports niche, providing a community for rad enthusiasts and athletes alike.”

Business Niche

Focusing on action sports travelers.

Russell-Cowan says, “Rad Season is known for being the world’s first one-stop-shop for all your action sports and adventure festival booking needs, backed by Priceline. Prior to the launch of Rad Season, no such resource bringing event calendars, adventure festivals, and travel booking together in one place was in existence. Despite a super crowded travel market generating $683 billion in 2016 (a whopping 10 percent of the GDP), no one was focused on the niche catering to adventure travel, a $263 billion market, until Rad Season.”

How the Business Got Started

Because of a desire to find “radness.”

Russell-Cowan explains, “While traveling on my four-month honeymoon in Latin America, I found it difficult to find cool events and festivals going on that had an element of adventure and general ‘radness’ to them. There was no detailed information or website with an easy-to-use calendar or location map showing what the current festival and events season was, or where to find the happening spots for action sports and cultural events. I knew that there was always something rad worth going to see in the world. I just had to find it.”

Biggest Win

Partnering with a big name.

Russell-Cowan says, “Landing a partnership with Priceline less than a year into our launch was a catalyst to help strengthen our business model so we can continue to grow as the leading brand for booking adventure travel, event tickets and accommodations — all in one place. When we were named “Startup to Watch” by Skift in 2016, Priceline caught wind of our brand and contacted us about a partnership to provide streamline travel accommodations to adventure travelers.”

Biggest Risk

Focusing on such a specific niche.

Russell-Cowan says, “There are two sides of the coin: serve the niche and escape the crowded landscape but risk going under if the niche market is easily disposable. Because of the risks, it’s absolutely critical to stay ahead of the curve and understand our tipping points and analytics models (what’s converting and what’s not).”

Spotlight: Rad Season Action Sports Adventure Company

Lesson Learned

Ask for help.

Russell-Cowan explains, “If I could go back in time, I would lay down more of my pride and bring trusted advisors into the fold during the early stages of development. My advice to other small business owners is to remember that you don’t have to accomplish Herculean feats on your own; ask for help from trusted mentors.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Focusing on exciting new opportunities.

Russell-Cowan teases, “With an influx of $100,000, I’d focus on rolling out Phase II of Rad Season’s business model. I can’t say much since we lead the pack in the adventure travel space but the drawing board is full.”

Favorite Activity

Rad hunting.

Russell-Cowan says, “I refer to my work trips as rad hunting: field research by exploring the world for the best action sports and adventure the earth has to offer. My wife and I welcomed our first baby into the world earlier this year and I guess you could say we’re pretty unconventional since not long after the birth of our baby, we headed to New Zealand to “rad hunt” for six weeks … baby gear in tow.”

Favorite Quote

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” – W.H. Murray

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Rad Season, Oli Russell-Cowan

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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