Your client sponsoring the X Games
Here's a way to reach millions of mostly young sports fans
December 9, 2011
The Winter and Summer X Games are four-day annual events featuring extreme sports competitions such as snowboarding and snowmobiling in the winter and skateboarding and BMX biking in the summer.
The games, which are just over a month away, offer advertisers a good opportunity to get in front of those difficult-to-target young adults.
Each annual edition attracts more than 100,000 extreme sports fans, with millions more watching on TV, and the majority of that audience is young, active and has money to spend.
The events are organized by ESPN, which gives advertisers extensive exposure during its TV coverage of the games.
To find out how to get your client at the X Games, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising and sponsorship at the X Games.
ESPN organizes the X Games and handles sponsorship and advertising at the events.
How it works
Winter X Games Aspen take place in late January or early February, with the 2012 event running Jan. 26-29. The Summer X Games are usually at the end of July, but the 2012 edition will be held earlier, June 28-July 1, to avoid conflicting with the Summer Olympics.
In addition to having a major on-site presence, advertisers’ brand names and logos also get lots of TV exposure. Top sponsors can also use official X Games logos and images in their own marketing.
Brands can also put on events that bring fans and athletes together.
For example, at last summer’s X Games, Red Bull set up a branded “Energy Lounge,” which hosted athletes, media and fans while DJs played music and street team members served Red Bull drinks.
There are also opportunities similar to those at other sporting events, such as video ads on jumbotron scoreboards and ads in event programs.
The Summer X Games take place in Los Angeles and the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo. Beginning in 2013 the X Games will also be played internationally in four cities still to be determined.
Total attendance at last summer’s X Games in Los Angeles was 141,500, the highest for the event since 2004.
The most recent winter and summer telecasts airing on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC averaged a 0.6 Nielsen household rating apiece.
How it is measured
Event attendance is tracked and ESPN Research performs on-site surveys to measure ad/sponsorship effectiveness. TV ratings are also used to estimate additional impressions.
What product categories work well
Recent or current X Games sponsors include fast food, auto and auto parts, entertainment, consumer electronics, beverages/energy drinks, personal care products and athletic apparel.
Among adult fans of extreme sports, 66 percent are male and 34 percent female, according to Scarborough Research.
Forty percent of X Games fans are ages 18-34, with 72 percent 18-49 and 65 percent 25-54.
Making the buy
High-profile X Games sponsorships typically run multiple years and cost millions of dollars. These deals are negotiated months or years in advance.
Beyond the main sponsorships, ESPN works with brands to create custom programs for on-site marketing and sponsorship. These deals can cost anywhere from five to seven figures.
Who’s already been at the X Games
Recent brands that have sponsored the X Games include Ford, BFGoodrich, U.S. Navy, Red Bull, Casio, Discovery Channel and Sony.
What they’re saying
“I think it’s an audience that’s gaining in terms of purchase power. It’s an audience that’s focused on being authentic to themselves and their lifestyle. They’re also very hard to reach through traditional media consumption, so it’s a great way for an advertiser to come in and be a part of the event and feel like they’re authentically involved.” “
Eric Johnson, executive vice president of multimedia sales at ESPN
Sponsors gallop to the Kentucky Derby
What to watch for at the Newfronts: Day five
Digital Content Newfronts blog: Day four update
Rachel, what do you see coming in media?
Tell us, what’s the state of magazines right now?
Weekend TV: Farewell to Alicia Florrick
Cable overnights: Big numbers for sports playoffs
New from Time Inc., hypertargeting of ads
Ranking the most popular sports OTT networks
Ugh: Voluntary buyouts hit Discovery Communications
‘The Goldbergs’ surges to a six-week high
Alas, New Day won’t see another one
The ever-elusive promise of podcasting
- Four join the digital agency Digital Pulp
- Jennifer Bradley becomes media relations director at MassMedia
- Elizabeth Boykewich rises to SVP of casting at Freeform
- Calandria Meadows becomes VP of social media at Bounce TV
- Brian Madigan becomes director of video at Real Simple
- Adam Jenkins becomes executive producer at Labs
- Adam Bernstein directing Spike TV's 'The Mist'
- Ryan Murphy working on FX limited series 'Feud'
- Natalie Morales becomes co-host on 'Access Hollywood'
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
This week’s younger viewer ratings
Assistant media buyer job in Fort Worth
Needed in Louisville: In-house media buyer
Memphis agency seeks a media planner
Needed: Globally conscious sales/marketing rep
San Diego opening for a digital marketing account manager