Snowboarding pioneer Phil Young explains why 2018 is the perfect time to launch, The Mighty Mighty, an action sports agency
What is the opportunity for marketeers who want to get involved?
The average age of someone who watches football on Sky Sports is 43 years old, and it is getting older every year. ‘Alternative’ or action sports offer a much younger and emotionally connected demographic to marketers.
Through Mighty Mighty we give an alternative view for marketers who want to do something different and more engaging targeting an often misunderstood audience. This is a space that offers huge potential to break new ground. Snowboarding is the most watched sport at the Winter Olympics, and the most anticipated new sports coming into the next Summer Olympics are Skateboarding and Surfing. Why? Because not only are they truly exciting, but we know that with them comes a sense of freedom that oozes with cool and sticks up two fingers to the world. Who doesn’t want that?
Lots of marketers talk about 'authenticity' as a key tool for engaging younger consumers. Do you see that as being a driver in people working with Mighty Mighty?
Action sports have spent the last 40 years developing and maturing, and what we've seen is that these sports often don't inherently have any rules. The only rule is actually authenticity. The sports themselves are by their very nature freestyle and creative. They are platforms for self-expression and creative exploration, not just in how they are performed but how their respective cultures resonate through street style and attitude. So if a brand can ensure authenticity by working with the right partner, they have an opportunity to do something fresh, new and exciting.
Marketeers may not be so easily connected to this world. How are you going to overcome that, and how do you see action sports fans behaving differently from a mainstream football audience?
One of the key priorities for launching Mighty Mighty is to offer brands a credible connection to alternative sports, which we believe offer much higher engagement than traditional sports. If you're watching a game of football, you are passive; you have an emotional ride but it is totally outside of your control. With surfing, skateboarding, bikes, snowboarding and the like, most fans are also participants. If they don't land a trick or it doesn’t’ ‘click’ that day, they have a bad day.
They are solely in charge of the actions and of the emotions they generate. Ride smoother, link tricks, learn something new and they win. The rewards from action sports are immediate. Our audience are participants; they take the knocks; they have the highs and lows and they come back for more. Their emotional investment is far greater and so is their desire to connect with and see others get those highs and live vicariously through them.