|August schedule allows for new opportunities|
January 24, 2000
ESPN will enhance its commitment to the X Games franchise by expanding marketing opportunities and establishing more of a year-round, multi-media presence, it was announced today by ESPN President George Bodenheimer. This summer's event, the sixth annual X Games, will return to San Francisco for the second straight year, August 17-22, 2000.
The August schedule creates two primary opportunities for future growth:
increased marketing commitment throughout the summer across many platforms;
more live lead-in programming in August
"The time is right to take this successful event to the next level," said Bodenheimer. "With powerful lead-in programming coupled with enhanced marketing resources and strategy, the tremendous athletic talents of our X Games athletes will now be played out on an even greater worldwide stage."
ESPN/ABC Sports President of Customer Marketing and Sales Ed Erhardt added: "The X Games has become a stronger brand. It's a year-round extravaganza which integrates several growing ESPN platforms. The August schedule will allow us to improve this great property by showcasing it in new and creative ways, benefiting all of our constituents -- sponsors, athletes and consumers."
Matt Hoffman, legendary bike stunt rider and X Games gold medalist and sport organizer, added: "The X Games has been the most exciting and competitive competition over the last five years. Now, having it at the end of the summer gives it its natural fit as the ultimate closing celebration to our season. We all encouraged and support the idea."
Increased Marketing Opportunities: The August schedule provides new promotional opportunities throughout the summer across many ESPN platforms. In addition, younger consumers (most natural X Games audience) are more accessible and receptive to marketing/promotion over the course of the summer as opposed to the end of the school year.
Year-Round Franchise: The X Games will now take place later in the year than ESPN-organized X Games qualifying events: two X Trials stops and two B3 events (Bikes, Blades and Boards). The B3 events will be held in March and April with the X Trials taking place in May and June. ESPN will continue to organize and televise the annual Winter X Games with the 2000 event taking place Feb. 3-6 in Mount Snow, Vt.
Live Event Lead-ins: ESPN/ESPN2's August schedule offers more live events, providing more logical and effective programming lead-ins, including the Little League World Series, one of ESPN2's best-rated summer programs with a natural tie-in to the X Games (both youth-oriented programming). For the first time, every X Games telecast will have a live event leading into it on ESPN or ESPN2.
X Games -- From nine days to six: In an effort to compress the competition for a more entertaining presentation for spectators and television viewers, the X Games will become a six-day event (compressed from nine), beginning with the 2000 X Games. While some events will still be held before the six-day period, all of the competitions which take place at the main venue (Pier 30/32) will be held during the six-day window, August 17-22.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports will provide extensive coverage of the 2000 X Games, while ESPN International will distribute the event worldwide. Since 1995, the X Games have featured the world's best athletes competing in a variety of alternative sports, including skateboarding, in-line skating, bicycle stunt riding, street luge and more.
ESPN International will continue to showcase X Games coverage and events worldwide with international qualifiers, Junior X Games and more.
Winter X Games -- Feb. 3-7
After three successful events in the Western part of the country, ESPN's Winter X Games will take place on the East Coast for the first time, Feb. 3-6. The signature winter alternative sports competition will be held at Mount Snow, Vermont featuring the world's best athletes in sports ranging from snowboarding to snowmobile snocross to snow mountain bike racing.