ESPN, the leading action sports content provider, and creator of the X Games, will bring the X Games to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil; Munich, Germany and Barcelona, Spain beginning in 2013. Those cities will join Aspen, Colo.; Los Angeles and Tignes, France to host the X Games in an effort to expand globally. With relevance to contemporary youth around the world, this expansion is a transformation from an action sports competition brand into an action sports lifestyle brand that will highlight new locations and enhanced cultural and digital elements around the world.
ESPN conducted a formal bid process starting last May which resulted in significant interest from locations around the world that bid to host one of three new events (which join Los Angeles, Aspen and Tignes). Beginning today, local organizing committees for Foz do Iguaçu (pronounced Fawz Day Ig wah soo), Munich and Barcelona will collaborate with ESPN for the next three years to bring the premier action sports event to their cities, launching an annual, six-event X Games calendar four of which will be summer events and two winter.
"ESPN has been committed to the X Games franchise for nearly two decades and is incredibly excited for the future and this new endeavor", said John Skipper, president, ESPN and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks. "We are bringing significant focus to this expansion because we believe in the universal appeal of these sports and competitors and want to share the X Games experience with fans around the world".
Motorsports icon Travis Pastrana, who has 17 X Games medals to his name, supports ESPN's decision to expand the X Games globally. "ESPN is giving athletes the opportunity to really chase their dreams, and the X Games are the most important and biggest events ever created for our sports", motorsports icon Travis Pastrana said in a statement. "The concept of bringing them to different places around the world is awesome, and I'm excited to see what it will do for action sports".
The New Venues:
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
Action sports is an integral part to the lifestyle in Foz do Iguaçu, especially those linked to nature and water, and action sports participation is growing every year. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the city of Foz do Iguaçu, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1986 and center for environmental thought and dialogue, uniquely offers the integration of the event with nature and the concept of environmental sustainability as a true pillar. Located on the borders of Argentina and Paraguay, X Games events will be held at the Iguaçu Falls, the Itaipu Dam and the Foz Do Iguacu Convention Center.
The cosmopolitan city of Munich offers a perfect backdrop as numerous sports festivals and top-quality, major international competitions in both professional and recreational sports have been staged within and around the Bavarian capital. The sporting infrastructure already exists and will be used sustainably: The Munich Olympic Park will provide a unique area in the middle of the city with all sports venues for the X Games contained within the park.
The resounding success of organizing the 1992 Olympic Games contributed decisively to projecting Barcelona's sports image abroad. The organization of the Olympics improved and endowed the city with a whole series of first-class infrastructures that have since been used to host major sporting events. All X Games activities will be consolidated in Montjuïc Park's Olympic Ring area, a unique space that combines different top-level sporting facilities with spectacular views over the city.
X Games Global Expansion
The X Games events will spotlight the world's best action sports athletes in BMX, Skateboard, Moto X, and Rally Car Racing at the X Games; and Skiing, Snowboard and Snowmobile at the winter version of the X Games against the backdrop of the host city and country. Each X Games event will take on its own distinguishing character that will set it apart from the others, including the introduction of new sports and cultural elements that are drawn from the host cities themselves. In the past the X Games has successfully organized smaller action sports events, qualifiers and demonstrations in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Philippines and UAE.