Panasonic Open Kicks Off Action Sports Tour In Baltimore
Panasonic, a leader in digital electronics, will kick-off the 2007 AST Dew Tour season this weekend with the Panasonic Open at the Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore, Maryland. The event will feature competitions in action sports events including skateboarding, BMX, and freestyle motocross from June 21-24.
The AST Dew Tour debuted in 2005 with Panasonic as a founding sponsor and is now the most watched and attended action sports property in the world. Recognized as the premier professional tour in its category, the competition offers the largest competitive purse in action sports - $2.5 million, with an additional $1 million bonus pool based on year-end tour standings. The events are televised nationally by NBC Network, USA Network and FUEL TV, providing the largest combined network and cable commitment in action sports. The 2007 Panasonic Open will be followed by tour stops in Cleveland, OH, Portland, OR, Salt Lake City, UT and Orlando, FL.
Over 150 of the best action sports athletes in the world will compete in the Panasonic Open this year, including Baltimore’s own Bucky Lasek (Skateboard Vert), Ryan Sheckler (Skateboard Park), Dave Mirra (BMX Park and BMX Dirt) and Nate Adams (Freestyle Motocross). In addition to the competitions, the Panasonic Open takes on a festival atmosphere in the “Festival Village” with interactive events and a musical performance by Saliva.
As title sponsor, Panasonic receives tour-wide category exclusivity and event naming rights for the Panasonic Open. Panasonic will also receive an NBC and USA TV media package and an opportunity to demonstrate products on-site.
At each of the five AST events, Panasonic will showcase its 103-inch Plasma TV in a specially designed Panasonic Experience tent, featuring interactive audio and video with Panasonic high tech headphones. For a hands-on experience, fans will be able to borrow a Panasonic Lumix digital camera during the day to take photos of their favorite athletes and events. Not only will participants be able to demo the product, they will be given their SD memory card, so they can take their pictures home to share with friends and family.
The Panasonic Experience booth will also host autograph sessions with AST Dew Tour Street Champion Ryan Sheckler.
To further support the action sports community, Panasonic recently launched its updated “Share the Air” (www.sharetheair.net) website, a digital content destination for action sports, which features photoblogs by key influencers. The site also features a user-generated content contest with an open call for 24-second action sports films, judged by renowned videographers Ty Evans and Aaron Meza. Two Grand Prize winners will be awarded with Panasonic High Definition camcorders. A photo gallery for creative still action shots will also be judged on the site, with Panasonic Lumix Digital Still Cameras as prizes.
The program is backed by five different 30 second TV spots created to highlight the synergy of Panasonic products with the action sports lifestyle. Airing nationally from June to October, the spots feature key athletes demonstrating gravity-defying freestyle motocross and skateboarding.
About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
About AST Dew Tour
The AST (Action Sports Tour) was created in 2007 to function as the umbrella brand of the organization; the Dew Tour is the AST’s premier professional property. Owned by NBC Universal and Live Nation, the AST Dew Tour, the world’s premier season-long action sports tour, debuted in June 2005 and consists of five major, multi-sport events with a cumulative points system, a $2.5 million competitive purse - the largest in action sports - and an additional $1 million bonus pool based upon year-end standings. NBC and USA Network combine for exclusive AST Dew Tour coverage with the largest combined network and cable commitment in action sports. The AST Dew Tour is distributed in over 230 million homes worldwide and in over 100 countries. The Tour features skateboarding (park and vert), BMX (park, vert, and dirt) and freestyle motocross, and at season’s end, the Tour awards champions in the six disciplines with the Dew Cup. Key lifestyle elements at each Tour event include the festival village with video gaming and interactive events, as well as live cutting edge music. The AST Dew Tour returns all of its founding partners including Mountain Dew (tour title sponsor); and Panasonic, Right Guard Xtreme, Vans®, Toyota and PlayStation® (event title sponsors). Associate partners include Ball Park, MasterCard, Mongoose®, Slim Jim and Verizon Wireless. More information can be found at www.astdewtour.com.
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