Advertising in the X Games: An attempt to reach Generation Y



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Over the past few years, there has been an increase in media coverage and public interest in action sports. ESPN created the X Games for the purpose of profit and entertainment in the form of sponsorship endorsements. Members of Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1994, consists of 58 million extreme sports enthusiasts and are the action sports market target audience. Social identity theory was used in this study as an approach to understanding ways to generate consumer involvement in advertisements by producing commercials that identify and make salient certain identities. Commercials aired during ESPN’s Winter X Games IX were viewed and analyzed to find the occurrence of certain social identity themes that correspond with characteristics of members of Generation Y who are interested in action sports. The content analysis supported the assumption that members of Generation Y, who are interested in action sports, could socially identify with certain characteristics featured in advertisements presented during this program.