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Volume 21 No. 2
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ESPN signs seven sponsors as Austin readies for debut

ESPN announced last week that it has signed seven sponsors for the Summer X Games, which will make its debut Thursday in Austin, Texas.

The company retained top-tier sponsors from 2013, including the U.S. Navy, Ford, GoPro and Monster Energy. It added three new exclusive sponsors in Dos Equis, Dr Pepper and Harley-Davidson.

Sources valued top-tier deals in the $1 million to $2 million range and exclusive sponsorships in the high six figures to low seven figures.

Sponsors receive rights to on-site activation, X Games marks and logos. They also receive media across ESPN’s channels and websites. Among sponsor activation plans, Ford will provide ride-and-drive experiences at the event, while Monster Energy and GoPro will sponsor autograph signings.

In addition to the top-tier and exclusive sponsors, ESPN signed deals for nonexclusive X Games sponsorships with Bing, Cricket Wireless, DuPont Kevlar, Firemans #4, Fram, GSD&M, Gildan, Lance Snacks, Microsoft One Drive, Nokia, Torchy’s Tacos, Geico, Loctite, Oakley and Skype.

There will be on-site activation at the event from the Austin American-Statesman, city of Buda, Disney Fantasia, Ninja, Gaems, GoPuck, Gunk, Junk, Lego, Norton, Oberto, Paper Toy Clothing, Paramount, RetailMeNot, Texas Pete, The Neon South and Turtle Beach.

Austin is the first new city to host the Summer X Games in a decade; Los Angeles hosted the event for 10 straight years. ESPN and ABC will broadcast 20 live hours of X Games Austin between Friday and Sunday.