Iowa Alumni Magazine | April 2007 | People

Extreme Entrepreneur: Brad Phillips

By Kelly Stavnes
Brad Phillips Brad Phillips drives sports enthusiasts to extremes with his hit motocross and ATV racing videos.

An injury for most professional athletes means the end of their careers. But for UI student Brad Phillips, it heralded the start of another.

After a severe collarbone break, former professional All-Terrain Vehicle racer Phillips left the dangerous racetrack and combined his passion with his entrepreneurial skills to create an award-winning business venture.

Phillips founded Premis Industries when he was a UI business junior. He travels the country filming behind-the-scenes footage of the motocross lifestyle and professional ATV racing, an increasingly popular tournament and spectator sport in which drivers race four-wheelers on dirt tracks. After he edits the film, Phillips sets it to fast-paced music and releases DVDs that have become hits among racers and enthusiasts alike.

Already, Phillips has received two "Extremmy Awards"—the extreme sport video industry's version of the Emmys—and sold more than 20,000 copies of his six videos. Phillips' entrepreneurial spirit has also expanded the business into a clothing line, website, and the early stages of a TV pilot. Just last year, he was recognized for his efforts with a first-place win in a regional competition of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Phillips began ATV racing at the age of 14. He won the Iowa State Championship twice, and quickly advanced to the professional circuit. He still rides for fun, but he says, "Premis was a great way for me to stay involved with racing without getting hurt."

Phillips juggles his schedule as both a full-time student and a self-starter. He squeezes filming and speaking engagements into school breaks, and he works tirelessly to keep his grades and his business afloat.

In the coming year, he'll film some of the world's best riders. Then there are the other benefits of creating his ideal working environment: no rigid work schedule, no boss, and ample creative freedom. As this extreme entrepreneur explains, "I love my freedom and having wild and crazy adventures with ATV racing."