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Kumho renews sponsorship of ESPN X Games

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Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. has renewed its sponsorship of ESPN’s Winter X Games for 2005, which will take place in Aspen, Colo., from Jan. 29 through Feb. 1.

The Winter X Games is the premier winter action sports event in the world, says Kumho, featuring more than 250 athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in the following sports: moto X, ski, snowboard and snowmobile. This will mark Kumho's second year as a Winter X Games sponsor.

"ESPN's X Games feature athletes who take performance to the extreme,” says Mike Leverington, director of marketing for Kumho. "The X Games are a great venue for Kumho to associate with because, like X games athletes, our tires offer extreme performance.

"Although we offer a full-line of tires, extreme performance products have fueled Kumho’s growth. Products like the Ecsta MX, STX, V710 and the new Ecsta SPT, DX and Solus offer the extreme control and handling that performance-oriented consumers are looking for. Our focus on extreme performance makes Kumho an excellent fit with the X Games.”

The popularity of the X Games has grown over the last few years, notes Leverington. Last year’s Winter X Games drew a record on-site crowd of 66,500. In addition, the X Games were broadcast live for the first time and exceeded 2003’s household average by 30%.

Key demographic ratings were also up significantly from previous years, highlighted by major increases for people between the ages of 12 and 24 (an increase of 39% on ESPN and 41% on ABC) and 18-34 (up 48% on ESPN and 62% on ABC). In addition, traffic on EXPN.com was up 50% over last year and was up by 200% over 2002.

As an associate sponsor of the Winter X Games, Kumho’s "perks" include on-site signage at all of the event venues; display space on-site in the vendor village; print ads in the event program and ESPN the Magazine; commercials on the ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 broadcasts; and banner ads on espn.com and expn.com.

The 2005 Winter X Games broadcast schedule will include 20 hours of programming starting this Saturday, including nine hours of live coverage.

In addition to the X Games, Kumho sponsors several automotive lifestyle events, such as Hot Import Nights and the NOPI Show, and is involved in several forms of motorsports in the U.S., including the American Le Mans Series, Championship Off Road Racing and the Sports Car Club of America, among others.

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