Air & Style Beijing: Shawn White Visits Beijing
A forty-meter high kicker was built in the Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Beijing for the Air & Style snowboard competition presented by Shaun White and Oakley. Probably the largest alternative/extreme sports competition ever to be held in China, it broadcasted live to an estimated fifty million people even though the stadium was less than full. Apparently the Public Security Bureau clamped down hard before the event and there was little to no promotion in terms of ticket sales. Those with VIP status were also supposed to maintain their seats the entire event even during the live performances by New Pants and China’s largest pop superstar Wang Lee Hom. Oakley and many other sports brands see Air & Style as the beachhead from which the entire snowboarding industry can enter China. With the widespread construction of new skiing and snowboarding resorts across eastern China there is a lot of hope for snowboarding to catch fire amongst China’s youth. Letting China’s top snowboarders appear with some of the best in the world on national Chinese television is a good start.