Behind The ScenesX Games

From intern to Senior Director, ESPN’s Tim Reed has seen the rise of the X Games

Tim Reed at X Games Barcelona 2013 (Tom Zuccareno/ESPN Images)
ESPN’s Tim Reed at X Games Barcelona 2013
(Tom Zuccareno/ESPN Images)

BARCELONA, Spain — “My first job,” said Senior Director of X Games Content Strategy Tim Reed, “was doing athlete registration back when we used to take Polaroids of each athlete to laminate on the credential.”

Both Reed and the X Games — the Barcelona leg kicks off today (Noon ET, ESPN) — have come a long way since 1997 when he began work with the company at X Games 3 in San Diego. Now Reed is helping to expand the ESPN franchise as more than just as a competition and into a true international festival. His team not only manages the sports and competition side, it handles the lifestyle elements including fashion, music and cultural elements at each of the six locations.

Reed’s team tries to make each location unique by taking advantage of backdrops. In Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, site of the April’s leg of Global X, “We had an opportunity to use the falls and put a ramp there,” Reed said.

“In Barcelona, the vert ramp is located on the site where diving was held in the 1992 Olympics,” he said. “That’s how we build some local flavor and texture into each location.”

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The X Games has taken Reed all across the country and the world. He was an operations and venue manager for the halfpipe and big air venues at Winter X Games 2 in Crested Butte, Colo.

“From there I traveled or moved every six months until I landed in San Francisco when the X Games moved there,” said Reed, who then stayed on the West Coast when the X Games moved to Philadelphia.

“I took a full time role in the Sports and Competition department,” he said. “Primarily dealing with the course construction, course design, athletes, kind of the whole creative process for what we’re going to produce from a competition standpoint.”

He spent the next 10 years building his career in that department and eventually his responsibilities evolved into dealing with logistics, medical programs, event production and announcers.

About 18 months ago, when X Games announced its global expansion, Reed moved his family to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

“The company support has been tremendous,” Reed said. “All of us getting to build out this product is amazing.”

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