ESPN and Echo Entertainment Collaborate to Produce X Games Aspen 2017
X Games Aspen 2017 will debut a new production format for the 16 hours of live coverage January 26 – 29 on ESPN and ABC, including a fresh lineup of on-air talent as well as a focus on in-depth coverage of the action sports competitions, stars and overall youth lifestyle. The X Games Aspen telecasts will be hosted by pro snowboarder Jack Mitrani (@jackmitrani) and national television host Allison Hagendorf (@allihagendorf).
A professional snowboarder, entrepreneur, filmmaker, music festival producer and aspiring musician, Mitrani has previously hosted X Games Extra as well as an array of World of X Games and digital content for ESPN. Getting his start producing comedic skits with fellow snowboarders, musicians and celebrities, Mitrani has made a name for himself through producing and starring in original content for his channel, Frendly Presents, and he is also co-owner and producer of the successful Frendly Gathering music festival. A graduate of Stratton Mountain School, Mitrani competed in four X Games events before taking his talents to the telecast booth.
Mitrani is joined by X Games on-air newcomer, Allison Hagendorf, who is Head of Rock at Spotify, as well as a national television host, live announcer, and music journalist. The Official Host of Times Square New Year’s Eve, Hagendorf has hosted a multitude of on-air and live events, including CW’s The Next, the MTV Video Music Awards & Movie Awards, and Fuse’s “Top 20 Countdown” and music festival coverage.
The hosts will be complemented by a collection of action sports athletes and personalities providing analysis and play-by-play coverage. Mitrani and Hagendorf will captain the X Games Aspen coverage from a new host set, which will be the central hub for interviews with the world’s top action sports athletes, musicians, filmers, photographers and personalities.
X Games Aspen 2017 on-air talent:
- Brandon Graham – Snowboard Commentator (@brando_graham) Graham returns to the X Games Aspen 2017 telecast team as play-by-play commentator for Snowboard events. A part of the X Games team since 2013, Graham has provided skateboard play-by-play for the summer events as well as broadcast duties for the World of X Games series on ABC.
- Craig McMorris – Snowboard Analyst (@craigmcmorris) McMorris joined the X Games Aspen telecast team in 2015 and is a professional snowboarder, member of the Shred Bots and older brother to six-time X Games gold medalist and Sochi Olympic Winter Games bronze medalist Mark McMorris. McMorris got his broadcast break for CBC during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, where he announced the Snowboard Slopestyle and Halfpipe events.
- Luke VanValin – Ski Commentator (@lukevanvalin) Van Valin joined the X Games Aspen telecast team in 2015 as an analyst after being a live event announcer since 2007 and Ski analyst for X Games Tignes from 2010-12. With deep roots in skiing, Van Valin skied professionally from 2003-2007 before transitioning into a career in live announcing in 2006.
- Tom Wallisch – Ski Analyst (@twallisch) Making his debut with the X Games telecast team at X Games Aspen 2017, Wallisch is no stranger to the X Games, with 10 X Games Aspen and Tignes appearances. Wallisch has one X Games gold medal from his most dominant season in 2012. He also won the overall Dew Tour and the AFP titles that year.
- Jen Hudak – Ski Analyst (@jenhudak) Making her debut as an analyst and reporter for the X Games Aspen 2017 telecast team, Hudak is a veteran with five X Games medals in her trophy case. She was also nominated for an ESPY award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete and was a two-time Association of Freeskiing Professionals halfpipe world champion.
- Cam Steele – Snowmobile Commentator (@dessertassassins) A familiar and well-respected name in the Motocross industry, Cameron Steele is an accomplished motorcycle and trophy truck competitor, with victories as a Baja 1000 winner, multiple-time Parker 400 and Mint 400 winner and a 2010 short course series champion.
- Chris Burandt – Snowmobile Analyst (@chrisburandt211) Among the best all-around professional snowmobilers in the world, Chris Burandt competed in Freestyle, SnoCross, HillCross and Hillclimb competitions, winning Freestyle gold and Long Jump silver before moving into the X Games television booth in 2010.
- Victoria Arlen – Reporter (@arlenv1) Arlen will return for her second year at X Games Aspen as the features reporter. In addition to her duties with the X Games and Special Olympic World Games, Arlen is also involved with espnW and SportsCenter.
New this year, leading live action sports production company, Echo Entertainment, will work with ESPN to provide live coverage of X Games Aspen. With a focus on both the action sports and lifestyle elements of X Games, Echo Entertainment will help deliver a new format rich in in-depth athlete profiles and features highlighting the action sports lifestyle in addition to the live event coverage.
The ESPN and ABC telecasts will also be accessible via the ESPN app, as well as WatchESPN and WatchABC to viewers who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. An additional eight hours of competition will be carried on ESPN3. Fans can find more content on X Games digital platforms, including XGames.com, the X Games app and X Games social media pages (@XGames).
Danny Chi ESPN Communications, 310-642-1509; [email protected]
Grace Coryell ESPN Communications, 310-642-1519; [email protected]
Olivia Wilson ESPN Communications, 213-405-4145, [email protected]