SBJ/December 4 - 10, 2006/This Weeks News

Action sports awards sell out sponsorships

The first ceremony to recognize action athletes in more than four years, the Arby’s Action Sports Awards, has sold out its sponsorship inventory, bringing in more than $2 million, and will feature sponsor integration throughout the program.

The event, which will recognize the biggest names in skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX and motocross, was taped Nov. 30 and will air nationally on Fox the afternoon of Dec. 10, following the network’s NFL games.

“This is the first time we’ve ever completely sold out a show from top to bottom,” said producer Mike Burg, who co-owns the event along with Bob Bain. Together, they also produce the Teen Choice and Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards shows. “It goes to show if you can create a product that hits that young adult, male market, the interest is going to be very strong,” Burg added.

Top sponsorship packages for the event were in the low seven figures, while smaller ones ranged in the low-to-mid-six figures, according to sources.

The awards show will integrate sponsorship elements throughout the ceremony. It will begin with the hosts, “Jackass” stars Steve-O and Preston Lacy, terrorizing an Arby’s, Burg said. Then, throughout the program, the title sponsor will be highlighted when their logo precedes clips showing nominees for the “Arby’s Maverick Award,” which recognizes the year’s biggest athlete.

Other integrations were designed for Monster Energy and Jeep. Edge Marketing renamed the stage where the event is being taped the “Monster Energy Lounge” and plans to plug it as the venue throughout the show. Before and after each award, a DJ will play music while sitting in a Jeep.

Other sponsors include Nike 6.0, the brand’s action sports line of shoes and apparel, the U.S. Marine Corps, Activision and the fantasy adventure film “Eragon” and the horror film “Black Christmas.”

Debra Mager, senior vice president of advertising at Arby’s, said she was not surprised the show sold out in its first year. Between the NFL lead-in and the demographic, she said it was a smart fit for brands.

“This is an audience that’s tough to reach and tough to have credibility with,” she said. “We hope it’s going to be back every year.”

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