Yesterday I told you why I hated the X Games.
Today, in a somewhat Jekyll and Hyde moment, I’ll play the other role and discuss why I love the X Games as a marketing tool for skiing.
#1 Stokes Non-Skiers
If I had to choose between not-stoking non-skiers and stoking non-skiers, I stoke non-skiers even if perhaps the stoke isn’t of the most effective variety.
Plus, I love the scale of the stoke. Sure, many of the viewers are skiers, but a boatload of them aren’t and are simply drawn by high stakes drama on a mountain with a brand like Aspen’s.
#2 Live Conversation
During the whole “Gangham Style” fiasco, I noticed a surprising thing happen. Or rather, not happen. Now, my watchfulness of the left column on Twitter wasn’t perfect, but I never saw Gangham Style trending.
Think about that, a billion people watched that song but the real-time conversation was never high enough to show up in my trending list because only a small group were watching it an any given time.
What I love about the X Games is that it synchronizes the stoke and discussion on skiing so this topic can rise to the top. This rarely happens in our sport.
#3 Competition and Achievement
I’ve briefly covered this before, but skiing is at a large disadvantage to other sports because we lack common, well branded accomplishments like marathons are to jogging.
The X Games bring the drama and appeal of competition as well as the motivation of achievement to skiing in a way that appeals to a vastly different crowd than the more traditional skiing events do during the Olympics. The more kids have something to dream of, “I’m gonna win the X Games one day!”, the more stoke will be generated.
Overall, like I mentioned at the top, I’d rather have X Games stoke than no stoke at all.
But as we approach another extreme rendition of skiing on a mass stage, I can’t help but ask once again how we are going to make beginner and intermediate skiing sexy.
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