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HIVE EXCLUSIVE: Konami, ESPN Team up for Video Game X Games

17 Aug, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi

Konami will use ESPN’s Summer X Games to promote its first skateboarding game, ESPN X Games Skateboarding.

The game, which will be the first skateboarding game for PlayStation 2, shipped on August 14 and will also be released on Game Boy Advance this fall. The title will also be incorporated into an official Summer X Games event, which will be held in Philadelphia, Penn., on August 20 and televised on ESPN and ESPN2.

Participants throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area will play the game in a mobile Comcast RV outfitted with two PS2 kiosks August 6 through 16 to qualify for the competition. The top eight players will compete at the First Union Center for the chance to win an official gold, silver and bronze X Games medal. The gold medal winner will also get to play against a professional skateboarder on a JumboScreen and walk away with an autographed skateboard and a copy of the game.

“The video game category allows us the opportunity to extend our brand to our core demographic,” said Mary Moore, director of consumer and media products, ESPN. “It’s one thing to do commercials to market a product, but this brings it to the next level, actually bringing the game into the competition.”

Konami will make use of its Summer X Games tent, which will have six PS2 kiosks running its skateboarding title.

Konami, ESPN and Comcast will support ESPN’s X Gamers Challenge with an extensive marketing and promotional campaign that includes television and Internet support. Comcast will promote the Challenge by airing TV promotional spots and posting banner ads on www.comcast.com.

“In addition to this unique promotion, we’ll support our first skateboarding title with a full marketing campaign, including five weeks of TV advertising on cable, syndicated and network TV like ESPN, ESPN2, MTV and ABC,” said Dave Kemke, senior product manager. “Print ads will run in ESPN The Magazine and EXPN The Magazine, which makes its debut at the Summer X Games, as well as in video game and skateboarding publications. Online ads will appear on ESPN.com, EXPN.com and gaming and skateboarding Web sites.”

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