Another awards show I’ll never watch wrapped up last night, the ESPN ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards. What has ESPN and large corporations done for snowboarding? Two things…
Provided contests, that 99.9% of snowboarders will never be invited to because they lack in natural talent department or have a willingness to not sell their soles for “stardom”, with huge cash purses.
Brainwashed the average American consumer into thinking that all snowboarders drive Mini Coopers, drink Mountain Dew, and use Axe Body Spray.
Super-Boy-A-Lister-Lime-Light-Rockstar Shaun White just won his sixth ESPY Award for Best Male Action Sports Athlete. I guess he beat out T.Rice, Kelly Slater, and some guy named Ryan Villopoto for the ESPY.
I will give credit to ESPN for one thing; awarding Jamie Anderson with an ESPY. Jamie slays it, and parties hard. If you ever run into her ask her about the Trofeo Topolino Jr. World Games in Italy.
And no, I don’t drive a Mini, drink Mountain Dew, or use Axe.
If you’ve ever been to an industry party and needed a conversation starter with anyone, the TransWorld Exposure Meter discussion is always a safe bet. The meter is a comprehensive equation that adds together the editorial content and advertising content that each rider receives in the major magazines. Major being the operative word here, so if you made the local paper on Go Skateboarding Day don’t expect to see yourself on the list. The big players, say for skateboarding as an example, are Transworld, Skateboarder, Thrasher, and The Skateboard Mag.
These rankings essentially rate the marketability of action sports stars, so industry folk love talking about that side of things, especially if it’s a team rep with a rider on the chart. The August rankings just dropped, so here’s a little recap to keep you in the know.
P-Rod's rockin' the Target, making sure all his homeboys are hooked up with fresh paper towels
News hit the wire Friday skateboarding phenom Paul Rodriguez inked himself a deal with Target, following in the footsteps of Shaun White, Kolohe Andino, and Nate Adams.
Shortly after Shaun White signed with Target, we came up with the brilliant idea to have his own clothing line with Target and left the wholesome partnership he had enjoyed with Volcom for years and years, after they believed in him from an incredibly young age. Actions like this do not help a professional athletes image among the incredibly opinionated fanbase of action sports. These superstars always remember to thank the fans during their interviews, but do they really care? Or does it just come down to money in their pockets over progress of our sports as a whole?
Rodriguez is a surprise here, too. He’s always been active in the community, and after he won the first Maloof Cup in 2008, he took his winnings and opened up his very own skateshop. That was a respectable move, opening a core skate shop so kids have a place to get their gear…without needing to visit a Target.
The problem with these big corporate sponsors is that they take our top athletes and give nothing back. There is no Target-sponsored contest with a huge cash purse for the winner. They don’t film a video. They definitely don’t help skateboarding or snowboarding. Joining the Target team is basically the action sports equivalent of leaving the Red Sox to sign a big money deal with the Yankees.
Paul had this to say about turning his back on core skateboarding, “I grew up right across the street from a Target and have many memories of skating over to the store as a kid.” Really Paul? Growing up across the street from a Target makes it a legitimate decision? Sleep well with that ideal, while the rest of us say goodbye to our hopes and dreams since it doesn’t look like the cornfield we grew up across from is offering us any contracts.