The Madison Square Garden Company announced today that it is launching MSG Action Sports, a division of MSG Sports that will produce a variety of action sports and lifestyle events, properties and television programming. The first event – Air in the Square – will be a MegaRamp® ASA Triples BMX and skateboarding competition in Times Square in New York City on Thursday, June 16 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., which will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. The first ever major free and open to the public skate and BMX event in Times Square will be produced by MSG Action Sports in partnership with ASA Entertainment, a leading producer of action sports events and television programming in the U.S. MSG Action Sports also announced plans to partner with Quiksilver to make MSG Networks and national music network Fuse the official broadcast partners of The Quiksilver Pro New York in September, 2011 in Long Beach, New York.
“As we continue to look for additional ways to grow our business, expanding the MSG Sports division outside of our venues has been a key focus. The MSG Action Sports group provides a tremendous opportunity for us to collaborate across our divisions and utilize the depth and marketing expertise of MSG Sports, MSG Entertainment and MSG Media to develop world class events and television programming for the millions of action sports and music enthusiasts across the country,” said Hank Ratner, president and CEO, The Madison Square Garden Company. “Air in the Square and our partnership with Quiksilver are just the beginning of MSG Action Sports. We are currently exploring additional opportunities for future events in New York and beyond.”
Added Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports: “With the one-of-a-kind 195-foot long MegaRamp® ASA Triples showcasing incredible BMX and skateboarding pros flying high against the iconic backdrop of Times Square, Air in the Square is a very New York way to launch MSG Action Sports. We are proud to partner with one of the most prolific action sports event companies in the world, ASA Entertainment, and are looking forward to a long and successful event filled future together."
"We are thrilled about bringing the MegaRamp® ASA Triples to Times Square to help launch the action sports partnership between ASA Entertainment and MSG,” said Rick Bratman, CEO, ASA Entertainment. “I can't think of a better way to announce this exciting new venture than by watching the world's top skate and BMX pros perform mind-boggling tricks on this massive ramp structure in the heart of New York City."
MSG Action Sports has also entered into an agreement with Quiksilver to be the official broadcast media partner for The Quiksilver Pro New York, the first ASP World Tour Pro Surf Competition on the East Coast, featuring the world’s top professional surfers competing for an unprecedented $1 million prize purse. MSG Networks and national music network Fuse will serve as the official broadcast partners for the event, set for September 1 – 15 in Long Beach, New York. Additional action sports demos, music, fashion and cultural events will round out two weeks of competition. MSG Networks will telecast live and live-to-tape surfing action, including the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the competition. Additional programming from the festival will air daily on both MSG Networks and Fuse during the competition window, and will also include live and live-to-tape daily segments showcasing the surf competition, BMX, skate and Motocross athletes and exhibitions, as well as contest highlights, athlete interviews, action sports exhibitions, daily concerts and cultural events.
“Madison Square Garden Company is a world-class entertainment organization and we are confident that they are the perfect broadcast partner for The Quiksilver Pro New York,” said Bob McKnight, CEO of Quiksilver. “The newly launched MSG Action Sports group will elevate awareness for our industry’s athletes and events in New York City and throughout the U.S., and their understanding of sports, music and television production will be a great asset to promoting our sports and lifestyle.”
Added Michael Bair, president, MSG Media: “Fuse’s young, active demographic is the perfect audience for The Quiksilver Pro New York, and its broad national distribution will further expand the scale of this unique event. Locally, MSG Media will add marketing muscle to enhance the event’s standing in the New York area. The entire effort is a perfect example of how The Madison Square Garden Company can combine assets like no one else.”
Air in the Square will feature 20 of the world’s best BMX and skateboarding pros in a unique head-to-head bracket-style competition showcasing their versatility and innovation on the one-of-a-kind 195-foot long MegaRamp® ASA Triples course that features a 25’ high roll-in ramp, two 25’ wide jumps and a course-ending 14’ high quarter pipe. Participating pros for BMX include Ryan Nyquist, Daniel Dhers, Mike Spinner, Brett Banasiewicz, Steve McCann, Zack Warden, Austin Coleman, Pat Casey, Vince Byron, James Foster and Colton Satterfield. Skateboarding participants include Bob Burnquist, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Andy Macdonald, Lincoln Ueda, Adam Taylor, Elliott Sloan, Mitchie Brusco, Jett Eaton and Jagger Eaton.
MSG Action Sports and ASA Entertainment will also produce a one-hour television show on Air in the Square that will premiere on Fox Sports Net on Friday, July 22 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The participating pros will serve as narrators of the docu-drama style show, telling the behind the scenes stories of the event in their own words, and providing viewers unique insight into their personalities, part of what makes action sports so compelling to watch. The show will also feature dozens of head-to-head BMX and skateboarding battles between the world’s best pros that are part of the competition at Air in the Square.
Showing support for action sports in New York, Air in the Square has a strong list of marketing partners. Official partners include Quiksilver, J.P. Morgan Chase, vitaminwater, Infinity by Harman, Stride Gum, Harris Technology, and Oakley; official hotel for the event is the Eventi Hotel and hospitality partner is The Ainsworth. All partners will have on-site branding and activation at Air in the Square, VIP hospitality, as well as integration into the digital signage surrounding the event space in Times Square.
Fans can visit www.airinthesquare.com
for more information about Air in the Square and to check out photos and video after the event. For more information on The Quiksilver Pro New York please visit www.quiksilver.com