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Daniel Dhers doing a backflip during a demonstration at Babits Bikes in Greenville on Sept. 11. (contributed photo.)

Daniel Dhers doing a backflip during a demonstration at Babits Bikes in Greenville on Sept. 11. (contributed photo.)

Dew Tours sees signifcant changes to schedule

By Tony Castleberry

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For the second consecutive year, the Dew Tour has undergone significant changes.

First, since the NBC Sports Group acquired 100 percent of Alli Sports last year, the Dew Tour has adopted a Beach, City, Mountain schedule, meaning the number of Tour events is down to three this year.

Secondly, the Dew Tour season is starting much later than normal with the Beach stop in Ocean City, Md., kicking off Aug. 16. Also, the Tour will hold action sports competitions for the first time in San Francisco (Oct. 18-21) and Breckenridge, Colo., (Dec. 13-16), rounding out the City and Mountain portion of the new Tour model.

Finally, at each event, new sports and disciplines within existing sports will be featured as well as more live music and the Dew Tour Experience, which promise to give the events a festival-like feel.

Alli Sports President and CEO Wade Martin recently gave some insight into the reasons for the changes, the state of the Dew Tour and what the future might hold for his company and the action sports brand. Below are my questions and Martin’s answers:


mixer: The number of events is down to three this season, but it seems there is kind of a quality over quantity approach behind these changes. Was that part of the plan?

Martin: The plan for this new Dew Tour was exactly that — a bigger, better season with fewer, more premium events, which allows us more focus on each aspect of the Tour. We’ll be working even more closely with our partners to create seamless integration into the event, designing progressive courses and competition formats to continue progressing the athletes and sports, and provide a more encompassing broadcast and digital offering, with every competition covered through one of our top platforms.


mixer: Were the athletes totally on board with the changes or was there/is there some resistance?

Martin: For the past eight months, we have held panels representing every sport the Dew Tour features, including athletes, agents and industry veterans. These groups voiced their opinions and wishes, as well as feedback from past events, on where they want the sports to go and how we can support those goals. While you can’t satisfy every individual, the majority of the feedback has been highly supportive of this new initiative.

mixer: The season’s starting much later than previously and is ending in December in a cold-weather state. What was the decision-making process behind that?

Martin: The Dew Tour event dates are driven by NBC broadcast schedules, which also broadcasts the Olympics. This year, the X Games moved their dates to late June, early July to accommodate the Olympics, so we looked at how to schedule our event to best suit the athletes. This led to our August-October-December schedule, and in 2013, the Dew Tour will start earlier in the year.

mixer: Kicking things off in Ocean City, Md., again, was last year’s stop there — a first for the Dew Tour — what you expected it to be?

Martin: Last year, Ocean City set our highest attendance record in Dew Tour history. It was definitely a success, and with the great relationships we developed with the Mayor, City Council and Ocean City employees, we are looking forward to continued support in making this year even better. It was an easy decision to return this year. Everyone — the athletes, the fans and the town — loved the event out on the beach.


mixer: It seems like San Francisco is a great town for action sports. How excited are you about the Dew Tour debut there coming up in October?

Martin: It’s exciting to have the opportunity to host an event in San Francisco. They have a really deep skate(boarding) history that will carry through in our plans for creative and progressive skate disciplines, courses and formats. At the same time, they’ve really embraced the event as a whole. We’re excited to reflect the rich history and culture that resonates within the city. They understand the action sports community and are providing us the space and ability to develop incredible BMX venues and disciplines with a spectacular backdrop.


mixer: What, if anything, has changed since NBC Sports Group took over Alli Sports?

Martin: Becoming further ingrained in the NBC Sports Group has been great for us. It hasn’t been a “taking over” but deeper immersion into NBC on a day-to-day basis, and increased support from all platforms. The additional resources, largely in digital and broadcast, are beneficial for this period of growth we’re working on across our properties, including these next steps for the Dew Tour, and the Alli brand.

Contact Tony Castleberry at tcastleberry@reflector.com, 252-329-9591 or follow @tcastleberrygdr on Twitter.


Bless your heart
Bless your heart