Make It Count: Oakley and Element Partner in Grassroots Effort to Grow Skateboarding

7784152298_157f84fcf2

The recent announcement that X Games is partnering with Street League was huge news for competitive skateboarding. More exposure for the sport and the biggest name skateboarders in the world.

There’s another partnership happening in skateboarding that also has the best intentions for the future of the sport in mind, but it’s happening without the media attention or big-money contracts or major venues – it’s happening in small, local skate parks around the world. Oakley is working with Element on its “Make It Count” International Skate Contest Series.

While the series is designed to seek out new skateboarding talent, it’s also intended to promote the messages of social awareness, environmental stewardship and positivity.

“The Make it Count series was born out of all the events we were doing for kids through our non-profit, Elemental Awareness Foundation. The goal was to set up free skateboard events all over the US to promote skateboarding as a positive activity,” said Todd Larson, who oversees the Elemental Awareness campaign at Element. “We noticed that the kids really liked the impromptu jam style contests we were doing and we saw this as a way for kids to push their skills to the next level. In 2008, we decided to string all of the events together under one banner with a contest series finals at Element Skate Camp. This gave us the platform to take these kids into nature and show them something real. This is the hidden agenda behind it all; getting kids to connect with nature and making life lasting bonds with each other.”

With over 30 stops in North America, Brazil and Europe, it’s an opportunity to reach pods of skateboarders who may not have access to the platforms that can help take their talent to the next level or even potentially propel a professional career. At each stop their will be one overall winner. After the series is complete, all of the winners will be flown out to California to tour Oakley Headquarters and then go to Element Skate Camp.

When Dylan Radloff, Oakley’s Global Sports Marketing Team Manager for Skateboarding, heard about the program, he was instantly intrigued and anxious to get involved.

“With this contest series, it’s about trying to grow the sport of skateboarding regionally, domestically and internationally,” Radloff said. “We’re bringing this series to places and countries where skateboarding doesn’t receive a lot of attention from the media or the brands. We’re reaching out to the youth in these areas and giving them an opportunity to meet other skaters in the area, and also give some of the most talented skaters an opportunity to shine, and possibly get recognized.”

The series has already begun, with three stops already in the books. Below is a highlight video from the stop in Phoenix. The full calendar for all the stops is below. Spread the word.

MAKE IT COUNT Series Schedule
USA
Florence, KY – 3/16/13
Minneapolis, MN – 4/6/13
Jacksonville, FL – 4/20/13
Virginia Beach, VA – 5/11/13
Baton Rouge, LA – 5/25/13
Ft. Collins, CO – 6/15/13
Bethlehem, PA – 6/29/13
Global Finals – Sequoia Lake, CA – 7/27/13

Brazil
Rio De Janeiro – 3/9/13
Porto Alegre – 4/27/13
Sao Paulo – 5/18/13
Brazil Finals – Sao Paulo – 5/19/13

Europe
Lisbon, Portugal – 3/23/13
Stockholm, Sweden – 4/6/13
Edegem, Belgium – 4/13/13
Zürich, Switzerland – 4/14/13
Villiers-sur-Orges, France – 4/14/13
Bochum, Germany – 4/20/13
Nottingham, UK – 5/11/13
Madrid, Spain – 5/11/13
Helsinki, Finland – 5/25/13
Brescia, Italy – 5/26/13
Amsterdam, Netherlands – 5/26/13
Oslo, Norway – 6/23/13

Canada
Calgary – 5/18/13
Quebec – 6/21/13
Ottawa – 6/30/13
Vancouver – TBD