AURORA, Ill. (March 23, 2004) – NBC Sports today announced that it will launch the Action Sports Tour (AST), the first-ever, season-long, nationally televised, competitive tour for the growing sports of skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross. Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports, which produces over 600 live events annually and is the owner/operator of successful freestyle motocross and supercross national and international tours, will co-own and operate the new tour with NBC.
Boasting the biggest competitive purse in action sports, a Million-Dollar Bonus Pool based upon year-end standings and the largest network and cable television broadcasting commitment ever, the Action Sports Tour debuts in 2005. Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports and Charlie Mancuso, President, Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports made the joint announcement about the tour and complementary NBC/Clear Channel joint venture.
NBC Sports will produce coverage of the tour and provide live network broadcasts; marking the largest network broadcast commitment ever towards action sports. A cable television partner will be announced at a later date. The AST is in discussions regarding official Tour dates and host cities that will be announced at a later date.
The landmark Action Sports Tour represents:
- The first-ever, season-long competitive tour spotlighting the popular and growing action sports of skateboarding (vert and street), BMX (vert, street and dirt) and freestyle motocross. In addition, event-specific specialty competitions such as surfing, in-line skating and ¿super-moto¿ competitions will be added based on local appeal.
- The establishment of an April-to-October, action sports season, complete with a unified, competitive points system and the crowning of year-end champions in skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross.
- Massive, multi-platform marketing commitments by NBC and Clear Channel, utilizing both internal and external resources in support of the athletes and new tour. Marketing platforms will include various television, radio, print, online, outdoor and event marketing initiatives.
The Action Sports Tour will also include:
- Extensive amateur and grassroots action sports competitions and youth clinics designed to develop and spotlight the next generation of action sports stars.
- Lifestyle and entertainment elements at each AST stop featuring interactive events, video gaming pavilions and competitions, live music and concerts featuring headline acts.
- A dedicated commitment to the development of women¿s action sports through competitions, exhibitions and clinics.
“Action sports are clearly growing globally with soaring competition, fan and sponsor support,¿ said NBC¿s Schanzer. ¿The Action Sports Tour is the next chapter in the evolution of these sports and its growing legion of stars. By aligning with Clear Channel and drawing upon the growing resources of NBC, we are uniquely positioned to drive these sports towards even more dramatic growth in the future.”
Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports will lend to the AST its considerable expertise in live event touring and promotion, including a wide range of off-channel assets.
¿This partnership with NBC Sports is a logical extension of our existing Clear Channel action sports initiatives in supercross and freestyle motocross,¿ said Mancuso. ¿Our event management and market expertise, together with the marketing and cross promotional opportunities of Clear Channel¿s Radio, Outdoor and Music divisions, will enable us to quickly launch a successful tour.
¿Our assets complement NBC and both are structured to spotlight this new tour, the athletes, sponsors and the industry. We believe live spectators and televisiion viewers will embrace the evolution of action sports and will significantly impact the growth of these exciting sports.¿
Wade Martin, who joined NBC Sports after overseeing the Gravity Games and Octagon¿s Action Sports Division for the past five years, has been appointed General Manager of the Action Sports Tour. Martin will oversee tour sales, marketing, business development and operations. Martin¿s Action Sports Tour team will be directly responsible for tour and competition management, athlete relations and event design.
“Our plan is to work with the athletes, sponsors and industry to bring real structure and consistency to action sports; provide better context and meaning to these sports and create the definitive tour while growing the sports and its stars,” said Martin, who will report to Clear Channel’s Mancuso and Kevin Monaghan, Vice President, Business Development, NBC Sports.
Velocity Sports & Entertainment has been retained as AST sponsorship consultant. Harlan Stone and Jeff Jonas will lead the Velocity team that is working with NBC and Clear Channel on sponsorship structure and sales.
About Clear Channel Entertainment
Clear Channel Entertainment, the world’s largest producer and marketer of live entertainment events, is a subsidiary of Clear Channel Worldwide (NYSE: CCU), a global leader in the out-of-home advertising industry. Clear Channel Entertainment currently owns, operates and/or exclusively books 135 live entertainment venues, including 44 amphitheaters in the U.S. and 28 venues in Europe. Each year, more than 62 million people attend approximately 26,000 events promoted and/or produced by the company, including: Live music events; Broadway, West End and touring theatrical shows; family entertainment shows; and specialized sports and motor sports shows.
In addition, Clear Channel Entertainment owns leading talent management businesses that specialize in the representation of athletes and broadcasters, including independently operated baseball, basketball and football businesses. Clear Channel Entertainment is headquartered in New York City.
NBC Sports Ventures
NBC Sports Ventures, the business development arm of NBC Sports, produces 45 hours of programming annually for the NBC Television Network. NBC Sports Ventures owns and operates many of its properties, including the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, The National Dog Show Presented by Purina, The ADT Golf Skills Challenge, Office Depot Father/Son Challenge & the Budweiser Boxing Series.