X Games will make its first stop in the three new int'l cities in '13
A year after it opened bidding to host three new X Games events, ESPN today announced that it will be taking its action sports spectacle to Foz do Iguacu, Brazil; Munich, Germany; and Barcelona, Spain. The cities will host their first X Games events in '13 and subsequent events in '14 and '15. The cities beat out bids from Lisbon, Portugal; Quintana Roo, Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Whistler, Canada. ESPN Senior VP/Programming & Global X Scott Guglielmino said, "The three new cities were first in class from a (local organizing committee) perspective and demonstrated passion and interest in making these events special. They're terrific cities with terrific action sports culture." Guglielmino said that Brazil was a key market for ESPN and a place it wanted to take X Games because it is a fast-growing country and the company has a network there. Ultimately, ESPN chose the bid from Foz do Iguacu over Rio and Sao Paolo because of the opportunity to do an event near the area's famous waterfalls. Guglielmino: "The natural environment the X Games will have there will be jarringly different, and it's Brazil, which was a priority for us." It opted for Munich and Barcelona largely because the organizing committees there had "a vision" for tremendous events, Guglielmino said. He added that the recent troubles with the European economy, which has seen several countries revert to recession, did not cause any concerns for ESPN. Guglielmino: "Having six events out there, you're going to run into hurdles here and there. It is a partnerhsip and there are risks on both sides." ESPN plans to restructure its staff to manage its global expansion. Guglielmino said that half of the X Games team will be divided into groups of four to five individuals who will be assigned to work with local organizing committees on upcoming X Games events, on everything from logistics to event marketing to sponsorship sales.