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
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