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STRICT X-GAMES ADVERTISING RULES KEEPING SOME SPONSORS AWAY?
Published May 28, 1999
With less than a month to go before the start of the Summer X-Games in S.F., city officials "are scrambling to raise private money so taxpayers don't end up footing the bill," according to Yumi Wilson of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The city has received "tentative promises from businesses to help pay for much of" the $700,000 cost of staging the week- long event, but it is still $150,000 short of what it needs. X-Games Host Committee Chair Gavin Newsom "had hoped" to use corporate sponsorships to pay for police, traffic control and city services, but Newsom said, "We're not getting the $100,000 to $200,000 sponsors that we expected." Newsom said that one problem is that members of the city's corporate community "know or care little about the X-Games." But "perhaps the biggest problem" is ESPN's advertising policies for the Games. Because ESPN gives its corporate sponsors exclusive rights to showcase their logos and banners at the Games, few local businesses "are interested in fronting cash for an event where they will get little or no on-air exposure" (S.F. CHRONICLE. 5/28).