Business Journal: Strikeforce Makes Millions On Mixed Martial Arts
February 8, 2011
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal recently wrote a “Small Busines Spotlight” feature on Strikeforce and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker that revealed some insight into how much the promotion has grown since they started promoting MMA back in 2006.
Although this article is premium content and needs a pay subscription to read the entire piece, it is probably one of the most insightful write-ups which focus on the business side of Strikeforce. The article can be summed up nicely by this quote:
Scott Coker and San Jose Sharks owner Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment are on pace to rake in up to $30 million this year from Strikeforce fights at HP Pavilion and other venues.
Here are other random interesting notes that caught my attention in the article and other input from us.
- Strikeforce is on pace to post up to $30 million in revenue for this fiscal year (June 2011), compared to 4 million in 2006, which was their first year of operations.
- There are current plans to release DVD’s from older events and also launch an online catalog within the upcoming quarters, which would add another great revenue stream which they have not fully utilized yet.
- Strikeforce was founded in 1992, back when they used to promote kickboxing events. Amazingly, they only employ 13 workers. Their philosophy has always been to never over extend and exercise great fiscal responsibility, something that has plagued other promotions who were not able to last in the MMA market alongside the UFC.
- Main source of income are ticket sales, sponsorships, and most importantly, television licensing. Back in 2009, Strikeforce signed a TV deal with Showtime, which MMA insiders said the promotion would make $25 million in licensing fees over the course of the three-year deal, which runs into 2012. The deal was made after Strikeforce purchased assets from Showtime’s previous MMA partner, ProElite for $3 million, which included roughly 42 fighter contracts and a video library of 20 live events, just to name a few.
- Scott Coker, a black belt in TKD, promoted his fight combat sports event, kickboxing, back in 1985 at the age of 21. His first MMA promoted event took place in March, 2006 in California, just a few months after the sport was legalized in the state.
- The Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Gracie event held in March of 2006 in San Jose had no sponsors and no TV, drew 18,300 fans, which set the North American paid attendance record (which it still holds for the US) and produced about a $1 million dollar gate for the event. They were expecting about 7,500 fans for the event.
- Explosion Entertainment LLC was formed in May of 2008 consiting of SVSE personnel and Scott Coker, which was the first major move which led to many TV, licensing, and sponsorship deals in the following months.
- Strikeforce currently boasts a roster of 125 fighters under contract. Back in 2008, they had 10 fighters under contract.
- Strikeforce main sponsors include Full Tilt Poker, Rockstar Energy Drinks, GoDaddy and EA Sports.
- After signing a deal with Collective Licensing International on April 12, 2010. Since then, Strikeforce has gone through some changes, including a new logo, new merchandising, and a new store website to bring the brand up to date.