ESPN announced plans today to expand its X Games franchise in 2013 to three new international cities. The company plans to add to its current events in Aspen, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; and Tignes, France by signing deals with three new cities for three-year deals in its quest to produce six events annually.
“We are incredibly excited to take the X Games to the next level,” said Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, programming and Global X Games. “While we have produced events under the X Games banner outside the U.S. for many years, these four new X Games events will be of the same size and stature as the Los Angeles and Aspen events.”
According tot he release:
Pro skateboarder and legend Tony Hawk, an integral part of the X Games as an iconic athlete and TV analyst, said, “It has been incredible to see the X Games grow from its relatively underground inception in 1995, to a thriving global competition circuit today. Our sports have benefited greatly from the positive exposure over the years, and I am proud to have watched it all evolve since the beginning.”
Since the X Games began in 1995, the franchise has evolved into a recognized, global brand as the event has grown and expanded its reach into consumer products, theatrical releases and ESPN.com/action – the definitive site for action sports fans. Over the past decade, the X Games and Winter X Games have enjoyed increased attendance as well as coverage and ratings/usage on TV and other ESPN platforms. The most recent X Games and Winter X Games each set attendance records, pushing all-time attendance to more than two million spectators.
This expansion will be the first of its kind for the franchise in terms of size, scope and scale, but since 1998 the X Games has successfully organized smaller events, qualifiers and demonstrations in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Philippines and Dubai.