For five weeks beginning June 4, ESPN took over Toys ‘R’ Us stores across Ontario to help introduce youths to the world of alternative sports with the X Games Life and Style Tour. The sports network’s consumer products division hit store parking lots across the province with a branded truck, a mini-skate park and expert BMX riders and skaters.
The action sports tour kicked off at the grand opening of the new Toys ‘R’ Us in Galeries de la Capitale in Quebec City and continued on to eight other stores, introducing youths to ESPN-branded skateboards, bikes and, of course, safety gear. The on-hand X Games experts showed them some tricks and showed off a little while they were at it. The idea was to help introduce kids ages three to 18 years old that weren’t naturally interested in sports to a cool, fun, active sports lifestyle.
The experts worked one-on-one with the kids, teaching them everything from how to ride a bike for some of the youngest to how to do some simple tricks. The average activation was about an hour long. The brand ran a daily sweepstakes for a skateboard and earned ESPN some tasty data from the parents.
“It was an educational program, so we demonstrated some of the cool things you could do with the equipment and let the kids try the tricks,” Leigh Carson, brand experience manager for the tour, told Buzz. “The feedback we got from parents was all about bringing some kids out of their shells or giving the kids an opportunity to see alternative sports in a new light.” Agency: Vibrant Idéation & Marketing, Toronto.