Plugged In: Circe Wallace
Circe Wallace, senior vice president and agent at Wasserman Media Group, whose clients include skateboarder Paul “P-Rod” Rodriguez, Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov and Olympic gold-medalist Torah Bright, talks about the state of action sports, the upcoming Olympics and her appreciation of the Nets going to Brooklyn..
The endorsement market for action sports athletes: We are really seeing a division of class taking place. There used to be more opportunities for athletes who didn’t necessarily choose to be competitive, but were more media stars. And now you are seeing the guys on podiums, participating in the Olympics and X Games, taking the lion’s share of endorsement deals, more than some of the more media-driven stars or the athletes who take a more organic approach.
It’s gone global: The expansion of X Games into a global franchise is now transpiring. So they are going really from two events to six with a heavy international push in Brazil, Munich, Barcelona, L.A., Aspen and Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. The next Olympics is in Sochi, Russia. Obviously snowboarding got significant coverage in Vancouver and since Vancouver they have added slopestyle. I just got back from Moscow and certainly there is an interest in snowboarding and skiing. There is still a lot of headway to be made, but NBC Sports absolutely sees its importance in America and in the rest of Europe. And from a broadcast standpoint, it will be a priority.
Watching the endemics: The endemic brands in action sports have been very careful about not doing anything that would alienate their core consumer. And it’s kind of prohibited some of their growth to a broader audience. But brands like Nike coming in have torn down that wall. So there is a broader opportunity to appeal to a lifestyle consumer. And we have seen brands that don’t invest in the space at all, like a Hollister, that have taken some of the market share.
Keeping an eye on: I enjoy the NBA and am very excited about Jay-Z’s bringing a team to Brooklyn. What a great idea! Hipsters and basketball. Young, fun and love he’s bringing a team to his ’hood. I also like women’s soccer. My daughter is a fierce club player and I think it’s such a great global sport and the U.S. women’s team is inspiring.