X Games Mountain Bike Video Contest Draws More Viewers Than Any Other Live Series Contest In 12 Years
After the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020 and confined millions of people in the United States to their homes, a clear trend emerged.
With advice from national and local public health organizations that outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain biking, and trail running could be done safely solo or with immediate members of the household, participation and sales in these sports have increased and even prospered.
In 2020, the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) released reports showing that mountain biking trails in the United States saw peaks of 100-500% in bike traffic compared to 2019. Likewise, NPD Sports , an industry analysis organization, reported a simultaneous peak of 117%. in bicycle sales.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that this year’s debut of Real Mountain Bike, which is part of X Games’ popular Real Series video competition series, has seen more viewers than any of the previous iterations of the X Games. competition during its 12 years of existence.
Since 2009, the X Games Real Series, which includes Real Ski, Real Snow, Real Moto, Real Street (skateboarding) and Real BMX, has allowed athletes to marry their competitive drive with their love for filming.
Entrants and their filmmakers create and submit video matches showcasing their best laps or races, and the results include both a judges’ medal vote and a fan favorite vote.
Mountain biking has not been an X Games discipline since 2013, when it was presented at the X Games in Munich. In her Real Series debut, six riders – Cam Zink, Veronique Sandler, Brandon Semenuk, Danny MacAskill, Brage Vestavik and DJ Brandt – faced off.
Fans watched video parts on the X Games site and voted for their favorite in a one-round, win-win format. The riders’ performances were also evaluated by the judges, and the medalists were announced during the World of X Games: True Mountain Bike 2021 broadcast on ABC April 24.
Overall, with live events – especially in the action sports arena – nearly shut down during Covid-19, fans have reacted strongly to the all-video Real Series competitions. According to ESPN, Real Ski videos generated over six million more total views and Real Snow delivered nearly two million more total views than the 2020 competitions.
But even ESPN executives couldn’t have predicted the success Real Mountain Bike would have among viewers.
Real Mountain Bike delivered the largest audience in Real Series history; On YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, Real Mountain Bike’s total video views have reached nearly 25 million.
The video portion of MacAskill and director / editor Robbie Meade has seen the most views on YouTube, over 2.5 million views. It reached # 29 for trending videos in the United States.
MacAskill was bowled over by the thousands of comments from him, which apparently saw him defy several laws of physics on his bike.
“It was a real honor for Robbie Meade and I to be a part of the first Real MTB X Games,” said MacAskill. “Especially in an area with legends like Brandon Semenuk and Cam Zink, a young gun like Brage Vestavik and of course super cool pilots like Vero Sandler and DJ Brandt! It is a privilege to be in their company. “
“YouTube has been my field for a few years, rather than the competition, so I’m glad people seem to be enjoying and watching our video online,” MacAskill added. “Definitely worth it to crash into the frozen mud in very wintry January in Wales.”
Meanwhile, on Instagram and TikTok, Brage Vestavik’s Ender section surpassed all previous Real Series content on these platforms, with 1.3 million views on Instagram Reels and 7.3 million views on TikTok.
Vestavik, who received the money from the judges, fled with the fan favorite vote, gaining 57.96 percent of the share. As a fan favorite, he also received a cash prize of $ 5,000.
Overall, in 2021, Real Ski, Real Snow, and Real Mountain Bike videos currently have over 42 million views with over 116 million total impressions.
It’s clear that as fans missed out on live sports competitions – especially action sports, which never really returned like major league sports may have – the Real Series provided something to overcome them. . And as more Americans have turned to outdoor recreation during lockdowns, the popularity of mountain biking appears to be skyrocketing.