PROVIDENCE'S COMMITMENTS KEY TO GAINING GRAVITY GAMES
The state of Rhode Island should reap an economic
benefit of $75M for hosting the Gravity Games over the next
three years, according to Tom Mooney of the PROVIDENCE
JOURNAL. Providence's winning bid for the games, which beat
out cites including Denver and San Diego, was well-received
by the Gravity Games committee due to the city's offer of
government support for the four-day alternative sports
festival held in September. The city offered the event cost
breaks for police and fire protection, hotel accommodations,
and office space as well as an assurance of "proper" media
promotion of the games with a pledge from the Providence
Journal. The event will also receive a "cash contribution"
of $1M from public funds as an "enticement" to the game's
sponsors, as well as to assist in reducing production costs.
The money will be paid out over three years and matched by
$1M in "private money." In announcing the games, Providence
Mayor Vincent Cianci received a skateboard from games
consultant Biker Sherlock: "I shouldn't be holding this.
It's like holding marijuana" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 2/10).
A NEW APPROACH: NBC Sports Dir of New Business
Development Kevin Monaghan said the games hope to "create a
nice little niche that's very, very young," as the event
will air in October in direct competition with the NFL.
Monaghan: "We think that more and more young people aren't
focusing on team. They are focusing on these individual
adrenaline sports." Monaghan said that promotion for the
event will "be a multiple media presentation" with plans to
promote the event through outlets such as CNBC, MSNBC and
even "Saturday Night Live," while Petersen will push the
event in its Raw Sports Group titles Slam and Skate Boarder.
Petersen is also "creating" a games Web site that "won't
just be focused on the games" and the company. Monaghan
says the site will be year-round and will "have an attitude.
It's going to be cynical. It's going to tie in to the
Gravity Games music ... you're going to be able to buy
Gravity Games merchandise, and you're going to be able to
talk to the athletes" in chat sessions (PRO. JOURNAL, 2/10).