Snowboarder Maddie Mastro books a deal with Twix
The GIST: Twix is hitting the sponsorship slopes. Two days before taking second place in the X Games halfpipe competition on Saturday, snowboarder Maddie Mastro booked a deal with the candy company centered around a niche winter sport — splitboarding.
The sport: Splitboarding involves a snowboard that can break apart into skis in order to navigate backcountry snow. The sport became particularly popular a decade ago, when 2.2 million winter sports enthusiasts explored non-resort terrains.
The details: Mastro will design half of a custom splitboard, named the Twix Doughboard as a nod to the company’s new cookie dough candy bar. The other half will be designed by fans, who can enter renderings through a contest run by Twix.
The context: Despite the Winter Olympics underperforming with U.S. audiences last winter, the X Games continue to see success on ESPN. The annual competition between winter sports’ best athletes averaged 622K viewers across five time slots in 2022, up 3% from the previous year.
- The X Games pivoted towards digital visibility in recent years, inking a deal with TikTok in 2021. New owners MSP Sports Capital plan to double down and teased potential partnerships with Twitch and YouTube to up the event’s streaming presence.
Zooming out: As audiences continue to cut cords and ad spend flocks towards digital content hubs, the X Games’ focus on non-traditional mediums is a savvy one. Its steady niche audience also makes the event — and stars like Mastro — ideal partners for brands hoping to boost their affinity with younger audiences. Crunchy.