Thursday, May 14, 2009
This year, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) will present its Industry Impact Award to ESPN and the Winter X Games for its role in bringing the thrill and excitement of skiing and snowboarding into the living rooms of millions of television viewers worldwide. The NSAA Industry Impact Award recognizes significant contributions made to the ski industry by an individual, business, or other entity. The NSAA Industry Impact Award will be officially presented Thursday, May 14, to Chris Stiepock, ESPN VP and General Manager of Global X Events, at the group's annual Convention and Tradeshow to be held on Marco Island in Florida.
"We'd be remiss if we didn't formally recognize the impact that the ESPN Winter X Games has made on the ski industry", said NSAA President Michael Berry. "There is little doubt that the exciting action that these games deliver into the homes of viewers both young and old has caused them to pick themselves up off of their couch, and give skiing and snowboarding a try for themselves. Clearly the industry as a whole has benefited greatly from ESPN's exposure".
Chris Stiepock, who has been with the X Games since its inception in 1995, started out as the Marketing Director and last year was promoted to Vice President of the franchise. "ESPN would not have been able to grow the Winter X Games event and brand without the tremendous assistance of our various host resorts," said Stiepock. "We have greatly benefited from the hard work, vision, passion and expertise of many terrific people from our host mountains who worked tirelessly on our behalf".
The Winter X Games will enter its 14th year in 2010. Debuting in Snow Summit, Calif., in 1997, the event has been held in Mount Snow, Vt., Crested Butte, Colo., and Aspen/ Snowmass, Colo., where it has been for the past eight years and will remain through 2012.
The X Games is an annual multiaction sports event. ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Action Sports, first developed its X Games franchise in 1995. Today, the X Games are the biggest action sports events in the world. The games are broken into seasons: the Winter X Games—held in January or February—and the X Games—usually held in August. The location of the Winter X Games is in Aspen, while the location for the Summer X Games is in Los Angeles through 2009. 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. Since Winter X Games Six in Aspen (2002), the event has seen significant growth: attendance has nearly doubled; the event is now live on ESPN and ABC; SportsCenter is now televised live on site; and a multitude of ESPN media platforms regularly cover the event. Last year’s telecasts garnered record viewership, averaging 863,000 homes, up 17% from 2007.