Kyle Forgeard of the massively popular YouTube prank group NELK Boys recently revealed the story behind how they formed an unlikely friendship with UFC president Dana White.
In an interview on The Ultimate Human Podcast, Kyle explained that their relationship started through chance meetings facilitated by celebrity talent managers John Shahidi and Sam Shahidi.
Kyle recounted running into the Shahidi brothers while at dinner one evening in Los Angeles. At that time, John was dining with pop superstar Justin Bieber, who was already familiar with NELK’s viral videos. Bieber asked John if Kyle and the NELK boys could come say hello at their table.
This kicked off a fast friendship between the Shahidis and NELK. At a follow up dinner, John and Sam offered to help Kyle and NELK grow their business ventures beyond selling t-shirts. That’s when Kyle proposed the idea of the Shahidis managing a beverage brand for NELK.
Though unsure at first, John tapped his connections, including restaurateur Mark Wahlberg and UFC head Dana White. Impressed with NELK’s devoted audience, Dana agreed to become an investor and partner in NELK’s seltzer brand “Happy Dad”.
With the muscle of the UFC behind them, Happy Dad seltzers took off rapidly. Kyle credits Dana and the early support from John for helping their YouTube fame transform into a massively successful business now valued at over $1 billion dollars. From a chance dinner meeting to shots with the Shahidis to Dana White championing their mission, NELK’s growth has been anything but expected. But thanks to seizing opportunities, that unexpected rise continues to “full send” to new heights.