Damn Am and Skatepark of Tampa Productions

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by Rob

About SPoT Productions
SPoT Productions is a full-service event production company based out of the walls of Skatepark of Tampa, in Tampa, Florida. Exclusively specific to skateboarding events, SPoTlight can make your contest, demo, or party a complete success, from concept to execution. SPoTlight has been very fortunate to garner major skateboard industry support and presence at all of their events, which is the major difference that sets their projects apart from the standard.
Contact Information
Brian Schaefer - brian@skateparkoftampa.com
Ryan Clements - ryan@skateparkoftampa.com
Rob Meronek - rob@skateparkoftampa.com
How SPoT Productions Came to Be
World-renowned Skatepark of Tampa reigns when it comes to real skateboarding events. The Tampa Am and Tampa Pro have been going strong for nearly two decades and continue to gain momentum. Founder and owner, Brian Schaefer, thought that wasn't enough, so in the early 2,000’s he created Damn Am, along with Rob Meronek, Skatepark of Tampa software engineer, Certified Public Accountant, and photographer. The Skatepark of Tampa Crew, which consists of Schaefer, Meronek, and Ryan Clements, was continually being asked to run more and more skateboarding events, such as organizing demos at trade shows, to running events like the Johnny Romano Skate Jam and Maloof Money Cups. Also, jumping on board as Head Judge for Tampa Pro back in 2001 was former Santa Cruz and Foundation pro (1990 - 1998), Jason Rothmeyer, who has been working with them ever since. It was time to consolidate and put all of these events under one roof, SPoT Productions.
Skatepark of Tampa Mission Statement
Skatepark of Tampa is dedicated to skateboarding. Founded in 1993 during skateboarding's dark years, SPoT soon became a shining light on the east coast. Over the years Skatepark has become world-renowned for its "for skateboarders, by skateboarders" events, specifically Tampa Am and Tampa Pro. Skatepark of Tampa was started to simply provide a consistent, fun place to skate with friends and will continue provide a 'real' facility for skateboarders to visit from around the globe. '93 'til infinity...
Tampa Am
The Am has been going strong since 1994. Originally running every January and attracting ams from around the world, the event was switched to a December date in 2008. At each Tampa Am, the entire industry seems to be in attendance to witness the amazing skating and partake in the debauchery known as Ybor City. Although not billed as such, it has unintentionally turned into the Am World Championships. The registration process is long and grueling with the 200+ contestants, but even more get turned away because there could easily be 500 competing since a spot in the Contest is in such high demand. Most of today's top pros have skated Tampa Am and for many it was very influential in their "discovery" by the industry. The continued success of Tampa Am led into the need to bring other Tampa-style am events to other parts of the country, and eventually the world. This is why Damn Am was born.
Tampa Pro
Tampa Pro has been known as the last “real” pro skateboarding event in the United States for several years as it falls annually in March since 1994. The Florida weather makes it the perfect time of the year for pros to visit Tampa. Tampa Pro has been a staple event for so many years that nearly every single professional skateboarder has competed at Tampa Pro at some point in their careers. Beginning with the first title sponsor of Airwalk way back in 1994, SPoT has worked with the likes of Duffs, Quiksilver, Shorty's, DVS, and most recently Nike SB for title partnership, along with nearly every other endemic brand for additional sponsorships. It's a great event where the fans are right there with the pros...no security, no hype. Just real pros skating in a real atmosphere. To add a little more spice to the event, in 2003 the Team Manager/Industry VIP Street Contest was introduced into the weekend schedule. This event allows the industry to participate in the skating as opposed to sidelining all weekend.
Damn Am Mission Statement
The Damn Am Series was created by Brian Schaefer and Rob Meronek as they noticed that there was a need to bring the Tampa-style am contests to skateboarders outside of Tampa. If you can't get into Tampa Am directly through your sponsor, entering a Damn Am is the only official way to qualify for Tampa Am. Basically, the “flavor" of the Tampa Contests is taken to locations around the country and Europe, too.

The first Damn Am started in 2001 at the Volcom Warehouse in Costa Mesa, CA and has been going strong ever since. The success of that event led the inception of Damn Am Minneapolis at 3rd Lair Skatepark, which ran from 2003 through 2010, then moving to Hazard County Skatepark, just outside Atlanta, GA thereafter. In 2006, Volcom helped take the Damn Am Series over the pond. AmsterDamn Am was born and has been etched into the schedule as a yearly event. In 2008, the annual Damn Am Canada was started and takes place in September every year. In 2011, Damn Am partnered with Nike SB to hold the first annual Damn Am in Shanghai, China, with more to come…

The top 12 finalists at all Damn Am events get an automatic spot in Tampa Am, with the first two places getting thrown right into the Semi-Finals.

In addition to a damn fun time, the Damn Ams have assisted with many ams getting noticed on their way to professional careers. To say that most of today’s top pros have skated in a Damn Am Contest is not a stretch of the truth at all. In fact, with most of the industry watching at these events, it’s not difficult at all for a stand-out skater to pick up a new sponsor and gain some notoriety.
How to Enter Damn Am
Damn Am and Tampa Am are top am contests for am skaters backed by the industry and on a path to becoming pro skaters. Normally your team manager from your main sponsor enters you in the contest, but sometimes skaters without sponsors or just local/shop sponsors get a spot by submitting video footage. Email rob@skateparkoftampa.com and we'll be happy to check your footage to see if a Damn Am spot can be allocated for you. Once you're in Damn Am, all it takes is a top 12 placing to get a spot in Tampa Am. Damn Am events are the only way to qualify for Tampa Am.

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