Which Athletes & Brands Will Take Center Stage at the Upcoming X Games

The X Games, one of the biggest extreme sports events in the world, gets underway August 1st. Some of the biggest names in skating, BMX, and moto X will showcase their talents in Minneapolis in a multitude of events. With such a big event set to take place, this is a prime opportunity for brands to leverage the partnerships they have with some of the competing athletes. There are a ton of sponsorship opportunities in extreme sports, so let’s take a look at how well some of these big-time athletes are at promoting their biggest sponsors.

Extreme Sports Athletes Promoting Their Brands

Chad Kerley

via Chad Kerley Instagram

Chad Kerley will be showing off his BMX skills at the upcoming X Games, he is one of the better competitors in the sport and also happens to be a very good promoter for his brands. Kerley has almost half a million total social followers and also has a steady 4.77% follower growth rate the past 90 days. His three biggest partners are with Haro Bikes, Rockstar Energy Drinks, and Markit BMX. Kerley checks in with a 94 PE score for Haro Bikes and a 93 for Rockstar. Those scores are incredible, he is doing a tremendously good job promoting those two brands.

His lowest score for both comes from the quality category where he still has an elite score of 85, every other category (engagement, post proportion, share of voice, frequency) is in the 90s range. Kerley is making sure his posts are engaging while not crowding out his sponsored brands in Haro and Rockstar. As for Markit BMX, his score is a bit lower but not terrible at 79, he could do a lot better in the quality category here where he has an abysmal score of 47. Overall Kerley is an elite promoter for Rockstar and Haro, while Kerley needs a bit of improvement for Markit BMX.

Ronnie Renner

via Ronnie Renner Instagram

One of the more decorated Moto X athletes in the sport, Renner has won numerous gold medals over the years. At the age of 42, he is still competing and he is still a valuable promoter for his brands. Renner’s three biggest partners are Red Bull, GoPro, and Polaris. Renner and his follower base of over 400k followers have done a solid job promoting his top brands, but, of course, there is always room for improvement. Renner boasts an 80 PE score when promoting Red Bull, 79 for GoPro, and a 78 for Polaris.

Renner’s strongest categories are post proportion and frequency where he has multiple scores of 100, he is doing a good job posting frequently and most of his posts are promoted ones. Almost all of his interactions come from his Instagram posts. Making sure he has high-quality posts on that platform would help him improve his quality score for all brands. His worst category by far is his share of voice score, however, where he scores in the 40s for all three brands. Making sure each post has only one sponsor’s logo in it will greatly improve his share of voice and overall PE score. 

Letícia Bufoni

via Letícia Bufoni Instagram

One of the biggest young skaters in today’s game, Letícia Bufoni has already shown she is one of the world’s best skateboarders and she is ready to compete in the upcoming games. Bufoni is also an extremely efficient promoter for her brand partners. Bufoni has a strong social presence and a tremendous social reach as she has over 4 million total followers. Some of Bufoni’s top partnerships are with Nike, GoPro, and Red Bull.

Bufoni does an excellent job promoting GoPro and Nike as she has an 83 PE score for GoPro and an 82 for Nike. Bufoni is performing well in all categories except the share of voice for these two brands. She has almost all high 80s and above in all categories except for the share of voice where she is at 47 and 51. She is posting high quality engaging content, but like Ronnie  Renner, she needs to do a better job not crowding out her brand partners. For Red Bull she is doing slightly worse with a PE score of 77, her share of voice score is still incredibly low, but she could also be more valuable for Red Bull if she got her quality score higher like she has with GoPro and Nike.

Shane O’Neill

via Shane O’Neill Instagram

Another elite skater participating in the X Games is Shane O’Neill. O’Neill has almost 3 million total social media followers but is a very interesting promoter. On the one hand, O’Neill has a 91 PE score for Nike, but he also has an atrocious score of 61 for both Thunder Trucks and Spitfire Wheels.

O’Neill has a huge range in terms of how well he is as a promoter depending on the partnership. For Nike, he is firing on all cylinders with stellar scores in all categories. As for Spitfire and Thunder Trucks, there is a lot of work needed. All categories need work but the two that need it the most are post proportion and frequency where he has scores of low 40s and even into the 30s. If O’Neill can replicate the success he is having with Nike, he would be a more well-rounded asset for brands. 

Wrapping It All Up

The X Games are flooded with extreme sports talent, and it is sure to be an entertaining week when the event finally gets underway, but it is important to understand the implications for brands as well. Brands have the opportunity to capitalize on a huge event by investing in athletes that will promote them the right way. From what we have analyzed, we can see that some athletes do a lot better than others when it comes to promoting and some athletes do better for certain brands compared to others. As a brand it is important to know what you are getting when you partner with someone for a sponsorship campaign, Hookit has the tools to make sure those partnerships return the highest value possible.

Written by Garrett Mosher

Garrett is entering his 4th year at San Diego State University. He is pursuing a degree in economics with a minor in information systems and has acquired skills in business, data analytics, and marketing. As a product marketing intern with Hookit, he has learned how to analyze the effectiveness of sports sponsorships with an emphasis on how brands drive value from their ambassadors. If you wish to contact him please don’t hesitate to reach out on his LinkedIn.