Examiner: Brands bond with a new generation at X-Games

By Max Emanuel Donner, LA Sports Business Examiner

Sponsors were working overtime at the X-Games in downtown Los Angeles this weekend. They had a strong incentive. Affluent consumers aged 18 to 30 are usually the best investment for marketing campaigns targeting active lifestyle buyers. Booths at X-Fest events at L.A. LIVE commanded attention and were filled with visitors between sports events. And several sponsors also took the opportunity to support worthy causes and our military heroes.

Ford was promoting its high performance vehicles for high performance athletes. American Express and Toyota found X-Fest was an ideal venue to get their brands in front of affluent action sports fans. Twitter posted its logo throughout the venue with messages to tweet about the X-Games experience live to followers around the world.

Loctite promoted its adhesives for a better grip on action sports equipment. And a special segment of the X-Cast live streaming video program on sports science highlighted the benefits. When a strong adhesive binds an athletes footwear closer to a board, the force created when in a high jump accelerates rotation to the speed of a helicopter blade. Appropriately, Loctite presented Mike Schultz, champion of both Winter X-Games and Summer X-Games events, to bond with fans.

Gordon Hay of ALINE, a dynamic insole company, explained another benefit to sponsors who present their products to high performance athletes at the X-Games. He observed that, “this is the highest level of testing that any product could go through. There is no room for any margin of error.”

The U.S. Navy was present with a large recruiting booth. And others sponsors paid their thanks with fundraising promotions for military charities. Team ESPN put its presence at X-Fest to work to raise funds for “America’s Heroes: A Salute to Veterans.” Alexandra Lawn, who works in ESPN sales during the week, volunteered her time along with other civic minded ESPN employees to leverage the large audience generated by X-Games to promote worthy causes.