Though extreme sports have been popularized over the past several years, as reflected by the success of “The X Games,” “Gravity Games” and other TV sports shows, there hasn’t yet been a tour or a league to track athletes’ yearly performances.
Next June, NBC Sports and Clear Channel Entertainment will launch the Dew Action Sports Tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola’s Mountain Dew brand, which will offer advertisers and viewers a tour in which extreme athletes will rack up points in the fashion of the PGA and NASCAR sports tours.
The Dew Action Sports Tour will include skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross events and will be structured like a PGA weekend event with a Thursday-to-Sunday format. The athletes will perform each day, with the proceedings culminating in a Sunday final round.
In addition to Mountain Dew, each tour location-Louisville, Ky., Denver, Portland, Ore., San Jose, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.-will have one of five individual sponsors: Panasonic, Right Guard Xtreme, Vans, Toyota or PlayStation.
“It’s obvious that as the endorsement market for these athletes mature, the brands want to see these athletes on a bigger stage in order to get their marketing messages out,” said Ethan Green, senior director of marketing for NBC Sports.
The Saturday and Sunday portions of each tour stop will air on NBC. The tour is negotiating to secure a cable network for early-round coverage.