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Volume 20 No. 42

Events and Attractions

NBC Sports has hired longtime X Games executive Chris Stiepock to be the Dew Tour’s general manager.

The Dew Tour has been without a general manager since Kenny Mitchell left the position last year to join NASCAR.

NBC Sports Ventures, which oversees the company’s action sports division, Alli Sports, began talking to Stiepock late last year. He had been with ESPN since 1994 when he joined the company as director of marketing and communications for what was then called the Extreme Games. He later became X Games’ vice president of content and sponsorship development and most recently served as vice president of X Games Events.

ESPN last year let go of a number of X Games staffers, including Stiepock, after it abandoned its newly created Global X Games, a series of competitions in six cities worldwide.

In hiring Stiepock, NBC is getting an executive with two decades of experience in action sports. He has strong relationships with athletes and their agents, considerable experience in event management, and knowledge of TV production for skateboarding, snowboarding and other competitions.

“Because of his vast experience and background in the world of action sports and the contacts he has, we’re sure he’ll help us as we grow our action sports and millennial-targeted businesses,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, NBC Sports Ventures’ senior vice president and a former ESPN executive who worked with Stiepock. “He knows how to reach young audiences with sports-related content, and he will be a great asset.”

Stiepock will be based in NBC’s offices in Stamford, Conn., and will travel regularly to the Alli Sports offices outside Chicago.

He joins the Dew Tour at a critical time. Mountain Dew has two years left on its title sponsorship of the four-stop tour, and Alli Sports is slated to begin renewal discussions with it soon. The Dew Tour also is searching for a title sponsor for its event in Ocean City, Md., which will take place this week without a title sponsor for the second consecutive year.

“I’m looking forward to working with everyone involved,” Stiepock said. “I know a lot of them and there’s a good team in place. What I can bring is 20-plus years of experience in what’s worked and what hasn’t, and use that knowledge to fashion out a strategy for the future and a path for growth.”