In May, ESPN announced it would be expanding the X Games franchise to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain and Munich, Germany — joining X Games Aspen, Colo., Los Angeles, Calif. and Tignes, France — taking the premier action sports event global.
Since then, the X Games team has been busy working with the new host cities’ local organizing committee (LOC) to make the new events distinctly unique — infused with the lifestyle and culture of each city — yet ensuring the elements and core DNA that have made the X Games successful.
Over the past month, production meetings were held in Munich, Barcelona and Foz do Iguaçu. Taking the X Games to new global markets presents new staging and production challenges as well.
“This is an unprecedented challenge for us,” said Anthony Dittmann, X Games Barcelona event director.
“While ESPN has produced large events internationally, we are not only making TV but staging this event — meaning we need to design, create, build, staff and manage these temporary complexes in varied cultures. It’s very exciting and daunting at the same time.”
Though the X Games brand and events already travel well and resonate across many cultures, the expansion will undoubtedly guarantee more international media attention and coverage than before.
“This is clearly a great opportunity for us to increase the visibility of the event and brand,” said Phil Orlins, X Games senior coordinating producer. “This is something we focus on in many areas — from how the event is scheduled to what feeds we create for international broadcasters and how we handle international media at the events.”
Some early lessons according to Dittmann are, “Patience. Over communicate. Don’t take anything for granted. And, one meter equals 3.28 feet!”
Despite new lessons and challenges, still, it’s apparent the anticipation and excitement of growing and further evolving a unique property like the X Games is what’s fueling the X team into the global expansion of 2013.
Progression is what motivates all action sports athletes, and yes, the X Games staff, too.
In the gallery above, see renderings of what the venues in each new X Games locale will look like.
X Games 2013 Schedule:
Aspen, Colo., USA: January 24-27
Tignes, France: March 20-22
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil: April 18-21
Barcelona, Spain: May 16-19
Munich, Germany: June 27-30
Los Angeles, Calif., USA: August 1-4