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All images used with permission from Rut Sigurdardottir.
Gumball 3000 was created in 1999 by ex-racing driver, designer and British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper; and was born from Cooper's vision to combine cars, music, fashion and entertainment to create a pop culture lifestyle brand of the future. Cooper derived the word 'Gumball' from New York artist Andy Warhol after he used it to describe how the public chew up and spit out popular culture like chewing gum; and '3000' as a nod to Cooper's fascination with the future, particularly at a time when the world was about to enter the 21st Century. Cooper decided to launch his lifestyle brand concept by inviting 50 of his influential and celebrity friends to join him on a road-trip around Europe to experience an adrenaline fuelled-adventure, driving incredible cars and hosting glamourous parties each evening. This road-trip and its now legendary parties attended by the likes of Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue and Johnny Knoxville, was the first 'Gumball 3000 Rally' and rapidly caught the attention of the press and public alike, achieving mainstream media coverage across celebrity, fashion and automotive publications, gracing the covers of GQ, Esquire, FHM, CAR and The Financial Times. By 2001, the 6-day rally was televised internationally on MTV and the BBC to record audience figures, that gave rise to Gumball 3000 reaching the top of the Yahoo search engines, a result of which catapulted sales of Gumball 3000 branded T-shirts and baseball caps from hundreds of dollars to millions almost overnight. The brand was rapidly gaining the recognition Cooper had set out to achieve.
Over the next decade the concept grew from its origins as an underground rally fueled by myth and rumor, into a global entertainment and lifestyle corporation that now commands multi-million dollar sponsorship revenues and global licensing deals. Described by Vanity Fair magazine as ‘the most rock ‘n’ roll car rally ever staged’, Gumball 3000 has built its reputation by creating an aspirational lifestyle and an attitude that challenges convention. Attracting the endorsement and participation of pop cultures biggest names along the way such as David Hasselhoff, Darryl Hannah, Johnny Knoxville, Snoop Dogg, EVE, Jamiroquai, Swizz Beatz, Bun B, Cypress Hill, Travis Barker, Xzibit, Adrien Brody, Idris Elba, Hugh Hefner, Tyson Beckford, David Guetta, Tony Hawk, Dennis Rodman, Travis Pastrana and Carey Hart alongside leading influencers and business figureheads including the founders of Facebook, Pay Pal and Yahoo.
The annual rally has evolved into a week long festival hosted by global cities, closing off streets to organize music concerts, action sports demos and spectacular car shows that now achieve live crowds of over a million people, and a televised and online audience that reaches over 60 million households in over 100 countries. Gumball 3000 promotes safe driving, is supported by authorities and Governments and is sponsored by global blue chip companies. In celebration of reaching its '15th Anniversary' milestone, the Gumball 3000 Foundation has been established to utilize the wealth and influence of the Gumball Alumni to benefit underprivileged youths through education and building infrastructure.
In 2012 the Gumball 3000 Group was valued at over $200m (cit. Forbes) and includes entertainment, apparel, music and licensing divisions and retailing products in over 3000 retail stores. Maximillion Cooper's vision to create a lifestyle brand of the future continues to grow...