SBD/Issue 5/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Rough Ride: Dew Tour Dealing With Economy's Impact On Sponsors

Dew Tour And Its Athletes
Feeling Sting Of The Economy
The Dew Tour and its athletes have "felt the economy's sting in many cases" in recent months despite the "young audience it reaches," according to Ross Siler of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Former Tour presenting sponsors Right Guard and Panasonic did not return this year, and Alli Sports VP/Events Chris Prybylo, whose company organizes the Dew Tour, said, "Obviously, we were disappointed that they left, but at the same time, I think it wasn't because of anything we did. I think it was more strategic decisions on their part." Skateboarder Andy Macdonald was forced to replace his endorsement with SoBe after parent company PepsiCo opted to "no longer sponsor riders" under the brand. Macdonald: "When it comes time to make cuts in the budget, the first thing you cut is your marketing budget, and that's where all of our money comes from." Siler notes the Tour this year "maintained a five-city schedule, but held separate skateboarding and BMX events at its first two stops in Boston and Chicago, a move that several athletes believed was driven at least in part by economics." This weekend's event in Salt Lake City is titled the Toyota Challenge, and the auto manufacturer "remains committed to action sports." Toyota's sponsorship includes "everything from television exposure available through NBC to the Tour's presence in five major markets to the opportunity to interact with fans in the festival village." Toyota Marketing Communications Strategist Chad Harp said that the automaker is "committed to the Tour through at least 2010" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/18).

MAKING AN X-IT: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reports Totino's Pizza is "leaving the X Games to become a title sponsor of the Winter Dew Tour." The Totino's Open will be held in Breckenridge from December 18-20. The title sponsorship is "part of a one-year agreement that sources valued in the low seven figures." Totino's will receive "on-site and retail activation rights, advertising during NBC, USA Network and MTV2 broadcasts, and the presenting sponsorship of a summer Dew Tour highlight show that premieres on NBC on Thanksgiving weekend." Totino's execs "decided to switch their action sports investment from the X Games to the Dew Tour because it felt the Dew Tour offered more opportunities for activation and partnership" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/14 issue).

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