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Picture1Here’s a cool story about the city of Detroit’s bid to host ESPN’s X Games in 2014 and beyond. At its core, the piece is about how the city told its story to ESPN in an unexpected way. Some noteworthy elements:

  • …an unconventional marketing pitch that spins what many consider Detroit’s flaws — gritty streets, careening finances and unpolished urban landscape — into assets.
  • Cities often rush to spiff up when attempting to land a high-profile event with millions of TV viewers. However “with the X Games, we can just be honest about who we are,” said Kevin Krease…
  • Detroit’s pitch takes the angle that graffiti-covered high-rises, run-down neighborhoods and an underdog reputation have special appeal to the athletes and fans of the nontraditional sports in the Summer X Games: skateboarding, BMX biking, Rallycross and motocross.
  • …“our pitch is (ESPN) actually needs Detroit to inject authenticity into the X Games brand, so it can become relevant once again to skateboarders,” Krease said. “Otherwise it’s just a corporate TV channel trying to monetize skateboarding.”

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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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