Interested in Youth Marketing or the X Games? Check out the Action Sports Conference

It happens all the time when a non-endemic brand tries to break into action sports.  Either the copy is off, the ad is just kooky or their events tout how extreme their product is.  Unless you want to tout your product as “extremely lame” (sorry, couldn’t help ourselves), it’s best to do a deep dive into what’s relevant and what’s not.  Maybe Danny Way is going to hit with your consumer… maybe it’s Ben Raybourn.  There’s no one-size-fits-all approach… it’s a fragmented space.

That dive is going to take more time than we have to blog this AM, but for brands looking to target the Gen Y, extreme or otherwise uber-gnarly set of consumers, check out the Action Sports Conference our friends @ group Y are putting on (and of course, we’re assisting with in terms of media relations support).

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group Y To Host First Action Sports Conference At ESPN’s X Games 15

One-Day Event To Bring Marketers From Action Sports World Together With Mainstream Brands To Share Best Practices, Key Insights And Leverage Future Opportunities

June 17th, 2009 — group Y and ESPN have collaborated to produce the Action Sports Conference, to be held at X Games 15 on July 30th.  group Y, the premier action sports and youth marketing networking group, will use the X Games as a backdrop to bring together marketers from action sports and non-endemic brands for a day of education, networking and sharing of best practices.  The Action Sports Conference will be presented by FUEL TV.

During the last two decades, activities such as skateboarding, BMX and surfing have continued to grow in both popularity and exposure. Recent statistics cite that participants in action sports represent well more than 15 million people, with spending extending into the double-digit billions. The X Games has showcased action sports on a global level since 1995, giving action sports athletes and brands a broader level of media exposure than ever before.

“What we’ve witnessed first hand with the X Games is how broad of an appeal action sports have, beyond the core participant,” said Chris Stiepock, vice president and general manager for the X Games.  “The excitement surrounding action sports transcends the active participants and extends to a steadily growing group of fans. Savvy marketers are realizing that if you engage the influencers in this genre first, their efforts can have a strong impact.”

As the original action sports and youth marketing networking organization, group Y is ideally suited to be producing this conference. Founded in 2006 to foster relationships within the action sports community, group Y boasts the most authentic and connected membership base of any networking group in action sports. In the past, group Y has hosted many events throughout the Southern California region, featuring leaders from the top echelon of action sports and youth focused companies, including Quiksilver, Burton, Oakley, FUEL TV, Vans and MySpace.

For brands in action sports, increased media exposure has led to a greater need for strategic marketing initiatives ranging from grassroots programs to integrated social media executions.  As part of the conference’s activities, there will be panel discussions and presentations on best practices for merchandising brands, increasing athlete visibility across different channels and maintaining relevance with future participants.

“As an industry, the action sports world tends to be unique in its communal nature. It’s not far from rare for competitors to not only socialize at events, but to also be friends as well,” commented Liz Randall, group Y’s CEO and one of its co-founders. “What group Y events provide are ways to harness this community in a way to afford opportunities for members to connect in a low key environment and discuss issues and trends we’re seeing as a whole.”

Extending the Olive Branch to the Non-Endemics
The Action Sports Conference is the first group Y event to proactively invite representatives from outside of the endemic action sports community to participate. By inviting mainstream brands to partake in the discussions, group Y hopes to help non-endemic marketers better connect with the action sports community through appropriate partnership proposals and more authentic campaigns.

“The action sports participant tends to be pretty savvy and quick to judge when being targeted by the non-endemics. Unfortunately, the majority of the programs we’re seeing that target this demographic wind up alienating them instead,” commented Mark Sperling, co-founder and President of group Y. “It takes more than putting a snowboard in an ad to target someone who considers themselves a snowboarder. Through this conference, we’re hoping to give some brands a deeper look into one facet of action sports and connect them with some key influencers to help them develop more authentic programs for the future.”

As little nuances in execution can quickly turn a campaign from authentic to awful in the eyes of action sports participants, a limited number of VIP education packages will be made available. These packages will include a behind the scenes tour of the X Games as well as a guided, one-on-one experience where participants are able to ask questions, interact with brand representatives and receive insights surrounding the distinctions of targeting an influential demographic.

group Y’s Action Sports Conference will be held in the Stadium Club of The Home Depot Center, an exclusive location that will overlook many of the events taking place during day one of X Games. Maximum capacity for the event will be 200 attendees with a participatory price of $195 for a basic conference package, with enhanced packages also available.

X Games 15 will be held July 30 – August 2, 2009, and be covered live on ESPN’s family of networks, including ABC, as well as across ESPN’s digital media assets. The event will feature athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in Skateboarding, Moto X, BMX and Rally Car Racing.

Additional support for the Action Sports Conference is being provided by FUEL TV, Propaganda Headquarters and BBPR.

More details and information on the Action Sports Conference can be found online at

ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Action Sports, first developed its X Games franchise in 1995. Part of ESPN Original Entertainment, X Games, Winter X Games and All Access are just some of the original action sports programming currently shown on ESPN and ESPN2. In addition to the two U.S.-based events, ESPN has held X Games competitions and demonstration events around the world including Dubai, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, China, Korea, Malaysia and Spain.  The global franchise has also expanded its reach to sports, the definitive site for action sports fans, and to consumer products such as X Games bikes, protective gear, skateboards and DVDs.

About group Y
group Y is the original collective of professionals focused on Action Sports, Youth Marketing and Entertainment. Based in Southern California with a growing national reach, group Y boasts an active membership of the best and brightest these industries have to offer. Sharing insights from key decision makers at key brands, past speakers have included experts from companies such as Quiksilver, Burton, Oakley, MySpace, and ESPN. Through our events, outreach and on-line presence, group Y takes the work out of strategic networking and strengthens our entire industry in the process.

Additional information on group Y can be found online at


~ by doubleb on June 26, 2009.

One Response to “Interested in Youth Marketing or the X Games? Check out the Action Sports Conference”

  1. I follow the problem a long time. Fun-Sports (it has been called first), Extreme-Sport (it was the next step) the people how did understand the meaning behind the “Names” has always be the people who has done these sports be itself. This becuause they get used to the links Sports, Clothes, Music and Lifestyle. And that’s what it is about. The whole thing growed extremly fast ( -;) what else?). Sponsors came into the Sport which did not promote products which belongs to the sport. The companies just are interested in the big target group. Social Medias are a possibility to bring the sport back to the roots – once more – again. This industry did grow with the people who has been in from the beginning. Those people should should speak more often in Social Medias about the philosophy of the Sport/Family. For me this industry had another aim as just produce money like a factory. Social Medias should be used intelligent of those Agency who have the luck to promote this Sport. This comment is out of Switzerland!

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