Action-sports management firm IMS Sports is creating a 10-city pro skateboarder tour to debut next year with $2.5 million in prizes. As part of the tour’s establishment, IMS has signed a TV deal with Fox’s cable group to show all 10 events on its sports networks.
IMS — repping more than 60 pro surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders and others — bills itself as the biggest manager of athletes in the burgeoning action-sports business. It recently signed with CAA for representation as it grows its Third Man Entertainment division.
IMS CEO Adam Jacoby said former World Championship Wrestling topper Eric Bischoff, another CAA client, will be involved in “a senior management role.”
“His expertise is in sports entertainment marketing and merchandising and that’s exactly what we think action sports needs,” Jacoby said.
Producer-directors Brendan and Emmett Malloy will work with the entertainment division to develop related film, TV and DVD content. Hasbro licensed video content to be generated from the tour for the toymaker’s new Video Now portable player.
The tour would provide top prizes in two categories hitting $50,000 at each event. In all, 28 skaters would compete in each category, their scores judged by skaters in the other category.
“This is a skateboard tour, like the ATP or NBA of skateboarding,” Jacoby said.
First event will be held in late March or early April on the West Coast, with broadcast on a quick turnaround on Fox’s 21 regional sports channels or its new action-sports channel, FUEL. Events would occur about every three weeks over a nine-month period, in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia and Las Vegas.