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Volume 24 No. 154

Events and Attractions

The X Games, which get underway today in L.A., “have grown into a multimillion-dollar franchise that took its most ambitious step in May by announcing plans to expand to six global events beginning in 2013,” according to the L.A. TIMES' Baxter Holmes, who wonders, “How far can the X Games go?” Many economists and experts “say quite far, largely because they have a media engine in ESPN as their sole owner.” The X Games “evolve every year -- adding, removing and tweaking events -- which is all by design.” By keeping the X Games “fresh, they maintain a grip on the young, male demographic (about 12 to 34) that is highly profitable.” Coupled with “Olympic recognition, the X Games' intent to continually renew their audience by focusing on new trends bodes well for overtaking other sports whose audiences are aging.” Chicago-based Navigate Marketing President AJ Maestas said that the X Games “have reached maturity in America … so going global is their best bet.” Financially, it is “a wise move because the X Games are competing more domestically for advertising and sponsorship dollars with similar events” such as Alli Sports’ Dew Tour. Holmes notes the X Games “have hosted competitions in 14 countries in recent years, but a stronger international footprint” would allow it to “tap into new and potentially deeper revenue streams” (L.A. TIMES, 7/28).

SPONS-O-METER: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle repports ESPN has "signed four official partners and 11 sponsors across its multimedia, TV, print and digital platforms for X Games 17." ESPN Exec VP/Multimedia Sales Eric Johnson said that the Summer X Games sales efforts "benefited from ESPN’s decision to discuss the event during its upfront presentation in May" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/25 issue).

Ford, Red Bull, U.S. Navy, BF Goodrich
Mobil 1, Sony, Discovery, Casio
Volcom, Loctite, Bing, GoPro, Apple (units only)
Nike (no on-site presence)
WB (no on-site presence)