SBJ/July 9 - 15, 2007/This Weeks News

Subaru follows rally to X Games sponsorship deal

A year after ESPN added rally car racing to the X Games, the network is bringing the sport’s biggest backer — Subaru — on board as an X Games sponsor.

Subaru replaces Saturn as a gold-level partner in the automotive category for summer X Games 13. ESPN also signed Paramount Pictures as a new associate-level partner, filling its theater category for the first time in two years.

Gold-level partnerships are valued at $2 million an X Games, while associate-level deals fall in the $1 million range, according to industry sources. Both sponsor packages include on-site signs, activation space in the X Games village, rights to marks and significant media across all ESPN platforms from TV to print to online.

The Subaru deal does not cover winter X Games, which have been sponsored by Jeep in the past. Saturn did not return calls regarding its decision to end its X Games partnership.

Summer X will take place Aug. 2-5 in Los Angeles. Returning gold-level sponsors include Edge, U.S. Navy, Mountain Dew, New Balance, Schick and Taco Bell. Associates include Maxell, MediaFlo, Nowwhat.com, Paramount, PlayStation and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Paramount is using the X Games to promote the movie “Hot Rod,” which is due out Aug. 3.

“We’re working hard to close a few more deals over the next few weeks,” said X Games managing director Rick Alessandri, “but we’re delighted with where we are.”

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