(June 28, 2013) During its Ocean City debut in 2011, the Pantech Open set a Dew Tour attendance record by drawing approximately 73,000 fans during its four-day run in the resort, July 21-24— its first beachfront venue. That record was broken last year as an estimated 93,000 spectators came out to the beach in downtown Ocean City for the Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championships, Aug. 16-19.
The Dew Tour, with its world-class athletes, returned to Ocean City for the third year last weekend, and again, a new attendance record was set.
“I think this year’s Dew Tour was the best ever and each of the three years the event has been in Ocean City has been fantastic,” said Donna Abbott, Ocean City’s tourism and marketing director. “Also, I think it is wonderful that Ocean City has the opportunity to play host to these amazing athletes from around the world.”
Over the course of five days, June 19-23, an estimated 103,000 fans attended the Dew Tour Beach Championships, according to Kenny Mitchell, Dew Tour general manager.
It is the first time the Dew Tour has ever hosted more than 100,000 attendees at a single event, he said.
“The 2013 Dew Tour Beach Championships were a huge success and a great way to kick off our tour by celebrating action sports in Ocean City,” Mitchell said. “The top-level athlete talent made every competition exciting, consumers had a great opportunity to connect with our partners through the ‘Dew Tour Experience’ and the concerts were high-energy and a lot of fun. It also never hurts when Mother Nature gives you great weather.”
On April 3, Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, announced the 2013 Dew Tour schedule, with Ocean City again stop No. 1.
About 10 days before competitions began, workers started erecting a vertical ramp, skateboard bowl and a BMX park, along with the rest of the venue that would contain the “Dew Tour Experience” booths, activities and concert stage just north of the pier in downtown Ocean City.
Working day and night, the crews completed the blocks-wide “Dew Tour Experience” earlier last week — just in time for athletes’ practice sessions on Wednesday.
Events that took place in Ocean City included the Surf Shop Showdown, Skate Vert, Skate Bowl (pro and legends divisions) and BMX Park, Vert and Flatland. New to the lineup was Skate and BMX “Battle at the Beach” Street Sessions, which featured a small group of top street skaters and BMX riders in a high-energy event.
“The Skate and BMX Street Sessions brought a type of competition that you wouldn’t usually see in Ocean City, giving fans a look into a different aspect of skate and BMX,” Mitchell said. “The athletes enjoyed the unique set-up of a street feature on the beach and they brought a lot of energy to the contests.”
Another new aspect of the Dew Tour was “Recognize: Art,” celebrating and highlighting artwork from action sports athletes and influencers. An event was held in Berlin last Saturday night featuring music and artwork created by local artists and Dew Tour athletes.
“Our Recognize: Art show was very successful. It’s important for us to showcase that action sports aren’t all about what happens on the ramps – there’s a creative, cultural aspect to this lifestyle,” Mitchell said. “The art exhibit received a great response and we hope that we’ve helped to inspire our fans.”
Several musical acts also took the stage on the beach Friday and Saturday after the day’s competitions.
Admission was free for all competitions and concerts, although a limited number of premium passes were available that guarantee fans a seat for that day’s competitions as well as Dew Tour swag and exclusive souvenirs.
“Ocean City has been an amazing host the past three years and we’re looking forward to returning in 2014,” Mitchell said.
For the 2013 season, The Dew Tour again features the “Beach – City – Mountain” format. The tour will return to the urban action sports heritage of San Francisco for the second event of the year, Oct. 10-13, and wrap up at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colo., Dec. 12-15.
The 2013 Dew Tour will be shown on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Dew Tour Live on Dew Tour.com.
Dew Tour Live – Dew Tour’s digital platform – will stream every competition live, providing contest action, interviews and behind-the-scenes access. In addition, all telecast hours will be distributed internationally across NBC’s global distribution partners.
“I was not able to watch the event on NBC during its live broadcasts, so I set my DVR to record and when I did get a chance to watch, I thought Ocean City looked fabulous,” said Abbott, who was at the Dew Tour quite a bit, she added. “Of course, the national exposure this gives Ocean City is tremendous. From a marketing standpoint, I like seeing it on national television, especially at the front end of our season. It will also be rebroadcast several times throughout the year and that is great, too.”
Jessica Waters, communications manager for the Town of Ocean City, attended competitions Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“Each of the events were a huge hit, with a packed audience and amazing energy for the athletes,” Waters said. “My favorite was the Legends (Skate) Bowl, which was not only entertaining because of the talent of the athletes but was so special to see people who have been competing in action sports for decades and who have really evolved with the sports.”
Waters said she watched the Dew Tour on TV and thought the events, venue and town, “looked fantastic.”
“The weather was perfect, the water was beautifully blue and the Boardwalk and beach [was] filled with families enjoying everything Ocean City has to offer,” she said. “The scenic shots of Ocean City were almost as special as the segments of the athletes who spoke about how much they love Ocean City and how much Ocean City loves the Dew Tour. It was fantastic to watch in person and on national TV.”
According to the Demoflush statistics, which uses wastewater flows to estimate the city’s population, approximately 258,809 were in town last weekend (Saturday and Sunday average).