Industry News 5/6/2015

EVENT: MasterCraft Teams Up with ESPN X Games to Boost Wakeboarding, Waterskiing Back into Spotlight

Two of the most progressive names in action sports, MasterCraft Boats and ESPN’s X Games, have announced a renewed collaboration providing an entirely new platform to showcase the latest, boundary-pushing athletes in both wakeboarding and waterskiing. MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft will debut as part of the World of X Games series on ABC this summer.  

The invitation-only, inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown is set to take place at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, MI on August 8 with thousands of spectators anticipated to attend and watersports enthusiasts everywhere able to watch live via the telecast on ABC. Upping the ante from traditional event formats, this firstof-its-kind competition will pit the best wakeboard athletes in the world in head-tohead elimination heats with the added pressure of a “one run, fall-and-you’redone” format forcing riders to pull out their best tricks. Embracing the “go big or go home” mantra, the event will also feature an amped up version of long distance ski jumping in an attempt to break a world record.

Boasting the largest single event cash purse in the history of competitive wakeboarding/waterskiing, the MasterCraft Throwdown will showcase some of the biggest names on the water today including top-ranked pros, past X Games medalists, Pro Wakeboard Tour Champions and World Champions. Ski jumping legend Freddy Krueger will also be resurrecting the gravity-defying sport of skiflying with officials from the Guinness Book of World Records on hand to witness his attempt to soar the length of a football field in hopes of surpassing the current World Skifly Record of 299 feet.  

“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 platform to showcase the amazing athletes currently pushing the limits of the sport and expose the future of watersports to a global audience.” 

In addition to the mind-blowing action on the water, the MasterCraft Throwdown will feature a full line-up of entertainment including a live musical performance by a renowned recording artist, pyrotechnics, zany stunts, flying unicorns and general pandemonium all being produced by Gregg Godfrey, the brain behind Nitro Circus. Wakeboarding legend Parks Bonifay will be emceeing the event bringing his insightful commentary and crowd-pleasing antics to the festival-like affair. Truly a full immersion experience for spectators, the event is all about going big and embracing the inspiring, infectious atmosphere of action sports. 

Tickets for MasterCraft Throwdown will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, May 6 at 1 p.m. ET at www.mastercraftthrowdown.com. 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 videos highlighting their unique styles. All eight videos will drop July 15 on www.XGames.com/RealWake where fans can view each segment and vote for their favorite. The competition will culminate in a one hour World of X Games program airing July 25 on ABC, highlighting the top five riders.  

“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 and compelling video series for the industry and its fans.” 

World of X Games is a weekly program on ABC which features a variety of X Games and action sports athlete-focused content. For the most updated telecast schedule and information on World of X Games, go to www.xgames.com. Check local listings for additional details.