Shaun Palmer is probably the undisputed king of the extreme athletes. Palmer has won X-Games events in snowboarding, mountain biking, extreme skiing and wakeboarding. He is also a pro level motocross racer who, on a bet with Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton, qualified for an AMA 125cc supercross main event in 1999. Some have even called him “The World’s Greatest Natural Athlete”.
For those of you who haven’t watched television in the last three years, extreme sports are dominating the attention of a young audience, from teens to early thirties. Corporate America is slowly jumping on the band wagon. Palmer, as it turns out, likes Honda CR motocrossers, and Honda has obliged by providing some factory support to Palmer at this year’s first round of the AMA Outdoor Motocross championship at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California. In return, Palmer will provide some promotional support to Honda.
It is most interesting to watch corporate sponsors slowly, and carefully, get in on the extreme sports scene. By their nature, these sports are dangerous (particularly, freestyle motocross — which Palmer does not participate in), and some corporate sponsors are understandably concerned about liability. Nevertheless, the influence of extreme sports, and the extreme sports’ stars, is now so great that even conservative Honda is getting in on the act.
By the way, motocross/supercross has been labeled by many as the ultimate, original “extreme” sport.