Dew Tour Switches Hands From NBC To The Enthusiast Network; Format Changes Coming
The Enthusiast Network has agreed to replace NBC Sports Group as the operator and strategic planner of the Dew Tour after 11 years. Under a multiyear deal finalized yesterday, PepsiCo will license the name Dew Tour to TEN, which will then stage tour stops, sell sponsorships and media and manage its finances, much like NBC’s now-shuttered Alli Sports did. The Mountain Dew brand will continue as title sponsor, but TEN will own the business, according to the parties. “Mountain Dew’s ongoing devotion to supporting and driving progression within action sports compliments TEN’s overall vision and expertise within this industry,” said PepsiCo Senior VP/Marketing for the brand Greg Lyons. Under new ownership, the tour will be “completely reimagined” with a focus on evolving away from traditional competition formats, according to a statement. Execs declined to elaborate on their creative vision, but other promoters are embracing the action sports as entertainment rather than pure competitive sport. The Dew Tour’s future was in limbo for more than a year after NBC execs told Mountain Dew it would no longer shoulder the burden and risk of the tour, which struggled to find a television audience as the target audience abandoned traditional media. NBC will continue to air the competitions via a time buy from TEN. It has committed to six hours of event coverage on NBC and 12 more re-air hours on NBCSN. NBC has also committed to promote the broadcasts and to manage international content licensing and sales. “We look forward to broadcasting future Dew Tour events,” NBC Sports Ventures Senior VP Rob Simmelkjaer said.
THE TEN SPOT: TEN, which was formerly known as Source Interlink Media, owns an array of action and motorsports publications, such as Motor Trend, Transworld Skateboarding and GrindTV. While it lacks the linear TV clout of NBC, Dew Tour officials are counting on TEN to cast a long shadow digitally. TEN has agreed to promote the tour year round, create and distribute Dew Tour-related content on its network of media sites and live stream at least 40 hours of event coverage at dewtour.com and its own channels. “Partnering with Mountain Dew and the Dew Tour property showcases exactly what TEN has been designed to do for brands,” said TEN Sports & Entertainment Exec VP & GM Norb Garrett. The parties did not commit to any particular events or a schedule for '16 yet, other than to promise the tour will continue in both summer and winter action sports.