SBJ/May 12-18, 2014/In Depth

Action sports timeline

The two longest-running action sports tours celebrate milestones this year as the X Games marks its 20th year and the Dew Tour turns 10. Here are some highlights from the tours throughout the years.

X Games

1995
The ESPN-owned Extreme Games, an eight-day action sports competition, launches in Newport, Providence and
Middletown, R.I.

1996
The Extreme Games are officially rebranded as the X Games.

1997
ESPN launches the Winter X Games, held in Big Bear Lake, Calif. The event is televised to 198 countries.

1999
The first Asian X Games take place in Phuket, Thailand.
ESPN.com and Intel Corp. offer at least one hour a day of live, streaming video from the X Games, for visitors with 56k modems or faster and RealPlayer G2 with Intel Streaming Web Video software.
Tony Hawk lands the first 900 trick on a skateboard.

2000
During the Winter X Games, ESPN launches an alternative sports website, EXPN.com.

2001
Philadelphia’s First Union Center (now Wells Fargo Center) becomes the first indoor venue used for X Games competition.
Four first-time X Games-related events are scheduled outside the United States: the Japan X Games Qualifier; the European X Games Qualifier; the Latin American X Games Qualifier; and the Australian X Games Qualifier. Top finishers at those events would become eligible to compete in the U.S. X Games.

Gretchen Bleiler competes in the Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe Final during X Games Aspen 2014.
Photo by: Chasen Marshall / ESPN
2002

The Winter X Games are televised live for the first time.
The entire 2002 U.S. Olympic freestyle snowboarding team shows up to compete in the Winter X Games, just weeks before the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Touchstone Pictures and ESPN present “Ultimate X,” a film that chronicles the highlights and stories behind ESPN’s Summer X Games.
ESPN announces the establishment of the X Games Global Championship, which will feature two venues hosting competitions in summer and winter action sports simultaneously, scheduled for May 15-18, 2003.

2003
Shaun White wins his first X Games gold medal.

2004
All telecasts of the 2004 X Games air live on ESPN and ABC, a first for the event. In previous years, the X Games have aired largely on a tape-delay basis, and only portions were broadcast live.
ESPN unveils its new logo for the X Games brand.

2006
Travis Pastrana becomes the first person to land a double backflip on a motorcycle in competition.

2007
Winter X Games 11 draws its largest attendance in the six years the event has been held in Aspen, with 76,150 people attending the four-day event.

2010
After six years of hosting competitions throughout the Los Angeles area, the event is moved entirely to downtown Los Angeles, with competitions held at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, L.A. Live, the Nokia Theatre and Staples Center.

2012
ESPN announces that it will take the new Global X Games to Brazil, Germany and Spain in 2013. ESPN would later shutter Global X after only one year, opting instead to concentrate on its Winter and Summer X events in the U.S.

2013
Austin, Texas, is named the new X Games host city from 2014-17. The event will be held at the city’s new 1,500-acre Circuit of the Americas.

2014
ESPN and the Aspen Skiing Co. announce a deal that will keep the Winter X Games at Aspen’s Buttermilk ski area through 2019.



Dew Tour

2004
PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew brand signs on as title sponsor of the Clear Channel-NBC extreme sports tour that will be known as the Dew Action Sports Tour.


2005
The Dew Action Sports Tour and Fuel (Fox Sports’ action sports channel) sign a three-year deal in which Fuel will produce and market programming around the tour.

2007
What began as the Dew Action Sports Tour and was shortened to the Dew Tour will now be known as the ASPT Dew Tour. After only two months, the action sports series alters its name again to the AST Dew Tour.
Mountain Dew announces it will title sponsor the new AST Winter Dew Tour series and withdraw its support of the X Games after 13 years as a founding partner.
NBCUniversal buys Live Nation’s 45 percent share of the AST Dew Tour in a deal sources valued at $15 million to $20 million.

2008
NBC sells MTV a stake in the Dew Tour as officials believe that MTV’s cable networks, digital expertise and appeal to youth could help expand the tour’s fan base.
NBC Sports and MTV announce the creation of Alli (Alliance of Action Sports), which will combine AST properties, including the Dew Tour, Winter Dew Tour, Free Flow Tour and the China Invitational, with several other action sports events.

Drew Bezanson catches air in BMX Park competition.
Photo by: NBC Universal
2010

PepsiCo agrees to a two-year extension to keep Mountain Dew as the title sponsor of the action sports series through 2011.

2011
The Dew Tour downsizes from a five-stop to a four-stop series this summer and adds new disciplines.
Three years after selling a stake in the Dew Tour to MTV, NBCUniversal buys it back in a deal that values the property and its assets at $40 million to $60 million.

2012
Mountain Dew negotiates a new title sponsorship for the Dew Tour. Under terms of the deal, the Dew Tour will go from a seven-stop series with four summer events and three winter events to a three-event series.

2013
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association names the Dew Tour’s iON Mountain Championships an Olympic selection event.

2014
The Dew Tour is expanding from three to four events in 2014, and in the process is going to New York City for the first time.

Source: SportsBusiness Journal research

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