It was only 6 months ago when NBC and MTV announced a partnership that at the time seemed unprecedented around the AST (Action Sports Tour properties) to leverage action sports competitions and businesses by providing a multi-platform massive youth-based programming and content distribution deal. The deal included expanding into consumer product licensing, 80 hours of original programming across NBC, the USA Network, MTV, and MTV2.
However on December 1, NBC Sports and MTV announced another big move -the creation of the Alliance of Action Sports (Alli) an umbrella organization that will also house all of the AST sporting properties with Maloof Money Cup, AMA Motocross Championships, and the King of Wake series. Alli will also be the owner and operator of the Dew Tour and Winter Dew Tour, Free Flow Tour, and the China Invitational (skate event in Beijing). Alli is co-owned by NBC and MTV and plans to offer multimedia content and production with 7 national and internationl action sports tours and events.
While this appears to be good news for the action sports industry in terms of greater exposure to action sporting events, athletes, products, and therefore the industry as a whole, there are some entities that may find Alli a competitor, such as current TV production networks that cover action sports such as the ESPN X Games, various action sports websites, and specific brands that actually do their own events.
Overall however, action sports still does not get as much mainstream media coverage as other sports, and as indicated by our new Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Skiing Profile Report Winter 2009 to be released December 5, it’s clear that 13-25-year-olds in North America would like to see more if it was offered, but don’t always recognize certain brands, events, and athletes within various action sport genres unless they’re in an event covered on a major network.
According to the NBC Sports and MTV news release on Alli, Wade Martin, President of the new umbrella organization said, “Alli’s mission is to facilitate the momentous growth of action sports by showcasing both the competition and lifestyle aspect of these sports. We believe these are the sports of a new generation and Alli will bring together the best properties, athletes, and brands globally for the fans of action sports.”
“When NBC Sports launched the Dew Tour we knew there would be an opportunity to expand into other action sports. We are excited to bring the best programming across the entire action sports genre on multiple media distribution platforms to our audience,” says Kevin Monaghan, Senior Vice President, Business Development, NBC Sports & Olympics.
Added Jeff Yapp, Executive Vice President of Program Enterprises for MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, “This is a major step in building the business we imagined when we first partnered with NBC Sports. Building our online platform, creating a lifestyle brand, and expanding original content will positively impact the network of partners, athletes, fans and the action sports industry as a whole, which is everything that the alliance represents.”