SOURCE: Panasonic

June 17, 2008 13:03 ET

Panasonic Open Kicks Off Action Sports Tour in Baltimore

SECAUCUS, NJ--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - This weekend, Panasonic, a leader in digital electronics, will kick-off the 2008 AST Dew Tour season with the Panasonic Open at the Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore, Md. The event will feature competitions in action sports events including skateboarding, BMX, and freestyle motocross from June 19-22.

At each of the five AST events, Panasonic will showcase its audio and digital imaging products in a specially designed Panasonic Experience tent, featuring interactive audio and video and highlighting the newly-launched Ryan Sheckler Limited Edition Signature headphones. The Panasonic RP-HTX7-RS headphones sport an imprint of the coveted signature of pro-skateboard phenom and teen celebrity heartthrob Ryan Sheckler. Fans visiting the Panasonic Experience tent will be able to demo the headphones while listening to a playlist of songs handpicked by Sheckler.

The Panasonic Experience tent also will feature Panasonic VIERA® high-definition plasma televisions showing photos, video footage of Ryan and a fun quiz to engage consumers and deliver branded prizes. At the digital camera demo station, fans can try out the Lumix® DMC-TZ50 by taking pictures of their friends with life-sized replicas of the young skateboarder and then view their photos online using the camera's wireless upload feature. A nearby fan photo gallery is constructed of Sheckler-inspired skate decks. Ryan will also visit the tent to sign autographs for attendees at each stop throughout the summer.

The program is supported by a 30-second TV spot, which also features Ryan Sheckler. The spot highlights the synergy of Panasonic products and the on-the-go action sports lifestyle and drives consumers online to learn more about the new RP-HTX7-RS Limited Edition headphones. Airing nationally from June to October, the spot features Ryan skateboarding with his crew in visually intriguing locales like Dubai and Sydney.

The Panasonic Open will be followed by tour stops in Cleveland, Ohio, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, Utah and Orlando, Fla. Each event is televised nationally by NBC Sports, MTV/MTV2 and USA Network. Recognized as the premier professional tour in its category, the AST Dew Tour offers the largest competitive purse in action sports -- $2.5 million, with an additional $1 million bonus pool based on year-end tour standings.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.