Catching Up With: Dew Tour GM Kenny Mitchell On 2013 & Beyond

Ryan Sheckler gets some air time during the 2012 Dew Tour streetstyle finals at the event’s inaugural San Francisco stop. Click here to see more photos of last year’a event and the set up for the 2013 Toyota City Championships in SF.

The Three-Pronged Event Series Builds Hype Around Streetstyle For 2nd San Francisco Stop

The Dew Tour is prepping for its second stop in San Francisco, October 11-13, and with that comes a heightened anticipation as the revamped tour descends on the city for  its second annual edition. San Francisco was added to the tour last year, after Alli Sports announced it would overhaul its past tour schedule and focus on three main events and locations. The three-pronged event series, which starts in Beach City, Maryland, now has a city-centric stop and provides a stellar backdrop of SF’s Civic Center for the street skating portion of the competition.

Dew Tour GM Kenny Mitchell
Dew Tour GM Kenny Mitchell

This year the Dew Tour continues to build on the success we saw last year with our three large-scale event model, showcasing the unique characteristics of our beach, city and mountain locations,” says Dew Tour GM Kenny Mitchell. “For the Toyota City Championship we’re excited to enhance our  first experience with the streetstyle discipline, and this year will be even bigger and better. Athletes were so excited last year, and we had an open dialogue with them to get feedback and improve for this year, across all disciplines.”

The San Francisco stop was embraced with open arms by skate and BMX fans, and Mitchell expects that this year’s stop will only continue to build on that momentum with some of the minor modifications his event team has made this time around. Mountain Dew’s most recent announcement today that it has added Sean Malto to its team should add even more hype to this weekend’s event.

We caught up with Mitchell to get some of the specific event details, attendance and viewership numbers, and how he’s sees the Dew Tour evolving in the future.

 What are you most excited about for this year? How are you working to build up the San Francisco stop in particular? What’s new within that event that you are particularly proud of?
Continued progression. The Toyota City Championships showcase the best street and streetstyle skaters and BMX riders, and our updated format for FMX this year will bring out the next phase in progression for the athletes. We’re excited to see what they bring  to the table when they see the courses we’ve built.

In addition, we have included a greater emphasis on heralding the action sports culture. We will have a concert with Grammy award winner Common, and have added an art program called Dew Tour Recognize, which pays tribute to the strong creative branch of action  sports. In San Francisco the event will be a photo exhibit from industry photographers whose images all celebrate the action sports lifestyle and highlight San Francisco’s rich skateboard and BMX heritage.

 From an attendance standpoint, how was last years’ tour attendance numbers and how are you working to grow those year over year?

Last year we saw very strong attendance at each of the events in the new model, which we’ve seen carry over this year with record setting attendance in Ocean City – we had the highest attendance in the history of the Dew Tour. We look to continue this momentum  in San Francisco, heading into the Toyota City Championships with great competitions, the best athletes and an impactful fan experience through our Dew Tour Experience and Community Day. Partnering with top, forward thinking brands creates an interactive festival  area that draws the crowds – brands like Mountain Dew, Toyota and iON pull out all the stops around their latest products for the public to test and play with.

 How did the SF stop perform in attendance last year? 

The city of San Francisco really turned out for the event last year, with over 54,000 consumers experiencing our event. We’re excited to be back for the second year and expect to see the same enthusiastic crowds showing up to witness all the action.

Here’s a look at what went down in 2012 at the inaugural San Francisco stop and the set up for this year’s Toyota City Championships:

 What innovative ways have you found to market the contest year over year? How do you continue to draw a diverse demographic?

A lot of our success comes from driving progression with the athletes and industry, through course design, disciplines and contest formats, which creates engaging and exciting live events and shows for our fans. The Dew Tour essentially launched an entirely  new discipline in San Francisco last year with our Streetstyle competition, which was very well received by industry, athletes and consumers.

 Speaking of demographics, what is the average age range for your audience? How do you gather and analyze these type of stats in order to improve and grow?

Our general demographic is 13-34 years old.

What forms of broadcasting and webcasting do you have set up for each of the stops? Do you have live streaming happening, and does the contest get shown across platforms after it’s wrapped up?

The Toyota City Championships will be televised for a total of nine hours across NBC and NBCSN, including four live hours on NBC for the Toyota City Championships and two hours of highlights aired following the event.  Additionally, Dew Tour Live – Dew Tour’s  dedicated digital platform – will stream over 20 hours live from the Dew Tour along with more interviews and behind the action look ins with the athletes.

What has been your viewership for the contest across the platforms in the past? Do you have increased views with the live streaming vs. showing it after the fact or vice versa?

We are fortunate to be able to develop distribution platforms that reach consumers across the world, which includes our broadcast and  livestream capabilities. Last year the San Francisco live stream experienced record-breaking growth in total minutes watched  and unique visitors when compared to previous Dew Tour live streams.

From a macro stand point, where do you see the state of the action sports industry when it comes to contests? What direction are things headed in and how do you hope to continue to move the needle and set Dew Tour apart?

Alli and Mountain Dew have a longstanding commitment to the action sports community, and have helped foster its growth over the last eight years. The Dew Tour is in a great place from a product standpoint with the new model, and the addition of disciplines like streetstyle. The industry will continue to evolve over the next few years just as it has over the last decade, and we, along with Mountain Dew, plan to be at the forefront of helping to maintain the Dew Tour as a staple within action sports.