Bear Grylls expands into U.S.

Heather Krug to run American operation

Bear Grylls has expanded his entertainment shingle Bear Grylls Ventures to the U.S. and tapped Rogers & Cowan vet Heather Krug to run the banner as president and CEO.

Company will produce TV shows, films, digital programming, as well as launch a line of consumer products that tie-in with the British adventure seeker who has starred in Discovery Channel’s “Man vs. Wild” and “Born Survivor” TV series. He also penned bestseller “Mud Sweat & Tears.”

In addition to Krug’s hire, the Santa Monica-based shingle’s management team includes Delbert Dean Shoopman lll, who serves as executive head of production and licensing, and CJ Cardenas as VP of finance and operations.

“This is a super exciting time for us now and managing efficiently the increasing range of new projects is essential,” Grylls said. “The team I’ve assembled all bring a special understanding of the values I stand for, including adventure, camaraderie and a pioneering spirit.”

Krug recently spent nearly 13 years at Rogers & Cowan, overseeing the consumer, sports and entertainment division for the PR firm, working with clients like Coca-Cola, Diageo, General Mills, NBC Sports, NASCAR, the PGA Tour and USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

She had served as Gryll’s publicist, and will now focus on growing Grylls as an outdoors, adventure, family, fitness and consumer brand. She will also lead all publicity efforts for the company.

“Bear is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met,” Krug said. “He has an infectious spirit and his boyish enthusiasm makes you want to turn thoughts of ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can. There’s huge opportunity to build and grow Bear’s brand exponentially, as well as worldwide .. and that’s what excites me the most.”

Shoopman, who has worked with Grylls over the past three years to grow his licensing biz, will oversee all development and production for BGV, as well as manage licensing pacts. He will continue to manage and develop TV, film and digital concepts for BGV.

Separately, Shoopman recently produced the “Footloose” remake at Paramount and sold his production arm Video Time Machine to Shout! Factory.

Cardenas is a former investment banker covering the tech, real estate and lodging biz for Bank of America Securities.

BGV already has been busy brokering deals with knife company Gerber, outdoor apparel company Craghoppers, Unilever’s Degree Men Deodorant, and Dockers. It also recently inked a partnership with optics firm Bushnell, with whom Grylls will launch a signature lines of GPS devices and binoculars, and Coreban paddleboards.

Grylls is repped by Creative Arts Agency and law firm Keith Sutton of Sutton, Pakfar & Courtney.

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