ESPN Sells Majority Interest in X Games to MSP Sports Capital

ESPN has sold a majority interest in X Games, the global action sports franchise it founded in 1995 that made household names of skateboarders, snowboarders, BMX riders and freestyle motocross athletes, the company announced Wednesday.

What’s Happening:

  • As part of a multiyear agreement, MSP Sports Capital, a New York-based private equity firm with investments in McLaren Racing Limited and four European soccer teams, will assume day-to-day business operations and produce X Games events and shows, the company said.
  • ESPN will retain a minority interest and continue to air the X Games on television in the U.S.
  • MSP Sports Capital said it will produce its first X Games in Aspen from January 27th-29th, 2023, which will air on ESPN and ABC in the U.S.
  • Skateboard icon Tony Hawk, a 10-time X Games gold medalist who landed the sport's first 900 at the 1999 X Games in San Francisco and later worked as a commentator on X Games broadcasts, has joined the investment group as a brand steward.

What They’re Saying:

  • ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement: "We're proud of what we've created with our employees and the athletes over nearly 30 years of world-class X Games events and content. We now look forward to an exciting next chapter with MSP Sports Capital, which has a proven track record of excellence in sports and a dynamic vision for the continued growth and progression of the industry-leading action sports brand."
  • Tony Hawk said in a statement: "Skateboarding is part of my DNA and I support a community where change and advances in action sports is happening on a daily basis. Being part of the advisory board for X Games is an extension of my decades of competing and much more forgiving to the body."
  • MSP Sports Capital founder and CEO Jeff Moorad said: "MSP Sports Capital is excited about the future of X Games and being the new stewards of such an important part of sports history and its reimagined future.”