Industry News 5/6/2015

B$Z: ESPN X Games and MasterCraft Boats to Present New Wakeboarding Competition

ESPN X Games has teamed with MasterCraft Boats to exclusively televise MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft as part of the World of X Games series on ABC, featuring the world’s most accomplished athletes in wakeboarding and Skifly. This marks the return of wakeboarding to the X Games franchise, which was previously a fully-medaled event from 1996-2005.
MasterCraft Throwdown is a first-of-its-kind, invitation-only competition which will take place at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday, Aug. 8 and will be featured in a 90-minute live telecast at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
The wakeboard competition will include past X Games competitor and World Champion Rusty Malinoski, along with top-ranked pros, Pro Wakeboard Tour Champions and World Champions – all vying for the largest single event prize purse in the history of competitive wakeboarding and waterskiing. In addition to the best wakeboard athletes competing in head-to-head elimination heats, officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand as legend Freddy Krueger attempts to soar the length of a football field in hopes of breaking the current World Skifly Record – a record currently held by Jared Llewellyn at 299 feet set back in 2000.

“We are thrilled to have wakeboarding back as part of the World of X Games,” said Tim Reed, vice president, X Games. “The MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft are both perfect and exciting opportunities for us to work with the leading boat brand to develop a brand new progressive event for the industry and fans.”
The MasterCraft Throwdown will also feature a full line-up of entertainment including a live musical performance by a renowned artist, pyrotechnics, light shows and more, and will be produced by Gregg Godfrey – the brain behind Nitro Circus. Wakeboarding legend and two-time X Games gold medalist Parks Bonifay will emcee the event.
“MasterCraft has long been at the forefront of progression in watersports from the company’s initial roots in competitive waterskiing to its current role reinvigorating the landscape of wakeboarding competitions,” said Terry McNew, President and CEO of MasterCraft Boats. “ESPN and the World of X Games will serve as the perfect collaboration to showcase the amazing athletes currently pushing the limits of the sport and expose the future of watersports to a global audience.”
Tickets for MasterCraft Throwdown will be available for purchase Wednesday, May 6 at 1 p.m. ET at Additional details on the event including invited athletes, music and entertainment will be announced at a later date.
In anticipation of the August event, World of X Games will add the first-ever Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft competition to the previously announced lineup of Real Series competitions. A video-based competition, Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft will feature eight pairs of wakeboarding’s top athletes and filmers producing original video parts highlighting their unique styles. All eight video parts will drop July 15 on
where fans can view each part and vote for their fan favorite. The video competition will culminate in a one hour World of X Games program airing July 25 on ABC, highlighting the top five riders. The Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft episode will feature video parts, behind-the-scenes athlete and filmer interviews and medals presentation.
The World of X Games is a weekly program on ABC and ESPN platforms, which features a variety of X Games and athlete-focused content. For the most updated schedule and information on World of X Games, go to Check local listings for additional details.