SBD/August 23, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Street League Skateboarding Using Organization, Prize Money To Change The Sport

Dyrdek's league recently became the organizer for X Games street competitions
Street League Skateboarding, whose championship will be broadcast live on ESPN2 on Sunday night, "has elevated street skating contests to dizzying new heights," according to Jed Lipinski of the N.Y. TIMES. The last of the seven events in the '13 will "take place on a custom-built, 10,000-square-foot concrete course inside Prudential Center." Eight skaters "will compete for a grand prize of $200,000." Street League Founder Rob Dyrdek said that there previously was "no easy way to follow the contests as a fan or to know what was required to win as a competing skateboarder." To fix the problem, Dyrdek fixed the problem by introducing "the concept of instant scoring, in which points are awarded on a trick-by-trick basis and are visible on an arena’s Jumbotron." Dyrdek "persuaded 24 of the world’s best street skaters to sign with the Street League, but he still allowed them to participate in another contest of their choice each year." As a veteran pro, he "gained other skaters’ trust" in a way the Maloof Cup and other corporate entities could not. Meanwhile, there is "the prize money, which has more than doubled in the last three years." The league in March "became the official sport organizer for all men’s street skating competitions at the X Games in Brazil, Germany, Spain and Los Angeles, expanding the Street League tour to seven stops, from four, in all." A month later, it announced a "multiyear partnership with Nike." The deals "pushed the total prize purse for this year’s tour" to $2.095M, up from $1M when the league launched in '10. However, "not everyone is happy." Street League's "embrace of corporate sponsorship, trick-based scoring and mainstream media exposure rubs many professional skaters the wrong way" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/23).
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