Ground Zero Puts X Games on View

LOS ANGELES Independent Ground Zero has launched a nationwide campaign for ESPN’s 2004 Summer X Games, the agency said.

The Marina del Rey, Calif.-based agency created a series of outdoor messages promoting the competition, to be held Aug. 5-8 in Los Angeles and broadcast live on ESPN and ABC. The ads, which are set at L.A. International Airport and emphasize the event’s daredevil disposition, are already appearing on LAX shuttle buses and on “a dozen big boards all over the city,” said agency president Andrew Gledhill.

Unveiled over the weekend of July 2, one billboard atop the foothills at Highland and Franklin avenues shows “a professional [skateboarder] grinding over the edge” of what appears to be the “Hollywood” sign. Instead, the larger-than-life-size mountaintop letters spell, “X Games X.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is a 14-story mural covering three sides of downtown L.A.’s Hotel Figueroa. It features a motocross athlete racing past a pair of jets above LAX’s Encounter building.

This year’s scheduled competitions include skateboarding, “aggressive” in-line skating, bicycle stunt riding, surfing and motorcycle racing. Los Angeles is the host city for the second time in the games’ 10-year history.

The total cost of the campaign, which also includes print components and eight television spots, was not revealed. According to The Asian Wall Street Journal, off-network ad expenditures for ESPN ‘s 2003 X Games were between $3-5 million.