UFC Gym heading to Long Island

October 23, 2012

The UFC is setting up shop in New York.  But it’s not what we would like as the UFC is expanding its gym franchise to Long Island.

Via UFC press release:

UFC GYM® Long Island will join a multitude of other businesses in an expansive free-standing building.  Its ‘Train Different’ approach offers an alternative to the traditional workout with a multitude of ways for the entire family to sweat, move and burn different through signature classes and specialized equipment. The club will feature an array of amenities to provide everything needed to ‘Train Different’, including a 32 ft. Octagon, BJJ Studio, Bag Room, top-of-the-line strength training and cardio machines, battling ropes, agility ladders and other functional training equipment for explosive workouts. In addition to expert Personal Trainers to help people of all fitness levels achieve undeniable results, the club space boasts an expansive 2,500 sq. ft. group fitness studio to house a full range of UFC GYM’s signature classes including Hot Hula, Women’s Self Defense, Performance Cycling, and more.

“Every gym that we open just gets better!  Fusing together what is so great about mixed martial arts, with state-of-the art fitness equipment and amenities, clearly makes UFC GYM the most unique training option in the world today,” said Adam Sedlack, senior vice president, UFC Gym.

“What makes our gyms so special is that we bring fitness and community together – when Dad is doing a boxing class, Mom can be taking High Octane Condition, all while the kids are improving their athletic performance,” added Sedlack.  “We have something for everyone, and cannot wait to show our ’Train Different’ approach to the residents of Long Island.

UFC GYM Long Island is set to open for workouts in spring, 2013. Residents and commuters will enjoy easy access at the club’s location in the heavily traveled intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Leonard Boulevard, and within walking distance of two Long Island Rail Road train stops and bus stops. In addition to the club’s training options, UFC GYM Long Island will offer full-service locker rooms, an Arm Bar Café, featuring a tasty assortment of healthy shakes and smoothies and a retail shop. To create a fitness destination for the whole family, the club also offers a UFC Kids GYM, a private kids training area, offering Youth Fitness Classes, Active Fitness Gaming, Youth Mixed Martial Arts and Ultimate Birthday Parties.

Payout Perspective:

The Long Island location will be the first on the East Coast as the UFC Gym’s have set up in California and Hawaii.  I’m sure that the UFC will try to peg the gym’s opening at about the same time that Sonnen-Jones goes on (around April 27th).  Thus, it can get a groundswell of recognition in the area and perhaps the fight will grab a few more people to sign up for the gym.  With the expansion into the New York area, it acknowledges that the UFC is still dedicated to conquer the Empire State notwithstanding what’s happening in the courtroom or in Albany.

A look at the current UFC roster of sponsors

October 22, 2012

The Sports Business Journal (subscription required) provided a rundown of official sponsors in a sports marketing and properties showcase.  The UFC and WWE were both featured as the SBJ provided a list of its current sponsors.

UFC

Bud Light

MetroPCS

Dodge

Harley Davidson

U.S. Marines

Ultimate Poker

Xyience

MusclePharm

Corn Nuts

EA

TapouT

Ubisoft

Ryu

Edge

Some notable figures that may attract potential sponsors:

–  The UFC plans to produce 31 live PPV and TV (FOX, Fuel and FX) events.

–  UFC.com attracts a high of 8.6 million unique monthly visitors (in 2012).

–  The UFC has 9.3 million fans on Facebook and more than 700K followers on twitter.

By comparison, we note the SBJ listed the partners for the WWE:

WWE

National Guard

Ford

Hot Pockets

Kmart

Mattel

Slim Jim

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

THQ

Payout Perspective:

Which organization has the better sponsors?  It does appear that the WWE has more of the established sponsors.  Then again, the UFC does have sponsors fitting the interests of its main demo of 18-34:  beer, poker, male grooming products, workout supplements.  Both have embraced social media as each organization uses it as a key driver in activation by leveraging its fan usage of twitter, facebook, etc.  in its promotional campaigns.

Another interesting fact for the sponsors is that the UFC is planning on 31 events in 2013.  At current count, the UFC will have 22 planned events in 2012.  This could benefit the UFC as it attracts more sponsors to partner in more events.  The opportunities could be there for fighters to garner more fights and more sponsorship chances.  A discussion for another post is how the UFC will fill cards for 9 more events in 2013 when it has had trouble with juggling events this year.

Canada to host 5 events, TUF in 2013

October 22, 2012

MMA Mania reports that the UFC will have 5 events in Canada next year and likely a TUF series.  The announcement should capitalize on the massive fan output from fans to the north.

The announcement improves Canadian events by 2.  This will be the third visit to Canada this year as Edmonton Calgary saw Faber-Barao in the main event.  The second saw Jon Jones in the main event in Toronto.  The next visit this November will feature the return of Georges St. Pierre as he faces Carlos Condit to unify the welterweight title.  As we recall, UFC landed major records for UFC 129 and the country has had annual visits

UFC  149, Edmonton Calgary:  16.089 attendance, $4.1M gate

UFC 152, Toronto:  16,800 attendance,  $1.9M gate

UFC 1 154, Montreal

Payout Perspective:

The announcement that the UFC will visit five times in 2013 should not be too much of a surprise considering the addition of more events next year and the country’s dedicated fan base.  The possibility of a TUF franchise makes sense considering its global expansion.   While UFC 152 may have seen a drop off from its previous appearances in the city, the Edmonton card was a success considering the need to juggle the card.  We expect that the UFC will head to Toronto and Montreal and then try to reach other places not previously visited by the UFC in an effort to solidify support in the country.

UFC on FX 5 salaries

October 20, 2012

MMA Junkie reports the salaries for UFC on FX 5.  Notably, the payroll exceeded the official gate for the event.

Via MMA Junkie:

Antonio Silva: $70,000 (no win bonus)
def. Travis Browne: $20,000

Jake Ellenberger: $84,0000 (includes $42,000 win bonus)
def. Jay Hieron: $12,000

John Dodson: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Jussier Formiga: $9,000

Justin Edwards: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Neer: $16,000

Michael Johnson: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Danny Castillo: $25,000

Mike Pierce: $44,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus)
def. Aaron Simpson: $25,000

Marcus LeVesseur: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Carlo Prater: $10,000

Jacob Volkmann: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Shane Roller: $25,000

Diego Nunes: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Bart Palaszewski: $12,000

Darren Uyenoyama: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Phil Harris: $8,000

Payout Perspective:

The gate for the event was $358,000 and the total payroll was $538,000.  This is not out of the ordinary but it is interesting to note that the event is at a deficit comparing gate to payroll alone.

GSP-Condit to be seen in theatres

October 19, 2012

National CineMedia (NCM) Fathom Events announced that in conjunction  with the UFC it will be showing UFC 154: GSP vs. Condit in select movie theatres.  The event schedule for November 17th will be shown in over 350 theatres across the U.S.

The UFC has worked with NCM Fathom Events in the past as it sponsored UFC 143: Diaz v. Condit in 3D.   Tickets for the event are available online and are about $15.

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see if the concept of watching live events will catch on.  It’s another platform that the UFC is offering for fans to watch it’s product.   It’s been done in the past for the UFC, wrestling and even concerts.  But I wonder how many people actually go to the movies to watch.  Definitely, the price point is cheaper than purchasing the PPV but if you are used to watching it at a sports bar, it may detract from the experience.  Of course, a theatre setting probably means better sound and picture.

UFC 153 Prelims: 1 million viewers

October 19, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that the UFC 153 prelims airing on FX earned a 1 million viewer average.  The average bests the last two FX prelim shows which were below the 1 million benchmark.

Although the UFC 153 prelims scored a 1 million viewer average it still does not match the 1.24 million viewer average for the prelims.

Payout Perspective:

A nice bump back to the 1 million viewer average despite being below the overall prelim average.   There were not a lot of known fighters on the prelims so one might argue that this is a good reflection of viewers tuning in for the UFC and not the fighters.  It will be interesting to see if this equates to people purchasing the PPV.

The Pro Wrestling Post: Cena-Jets, WWE-Rolling Stones and Financial Impact of WM28

October 18, 2012

Welcome to another edition of The Pro Wrestling Post.   This week we look at John Cena visiting the Jets, the WWE working with the Rolling Stones and Miami receiving over $100M in positive financial impact from this past spring’s Wrestlemania.

Patriot fan Cena acts as honorary captain at Jets game

John Cena, a Massachusetts native and New England Patriots fan, served as an honorary captain for NFL East rival the New York Jets this past Sunday.  Cena was there to promote Wrestlemania 29 which will be held where the Jets play.

MMA fans recall that Frankie Edgar visited the Jets two years in a row and spoke to the team before the game.

Cena and Tebow (WWE)

Payout Take:  A strange promotional pairing.  Cena, who is legitimately recovering from an injury, got the nod as honorary captain because of his name recognition and it was a way for him to participate during Sunday’s game against the Colts.

WWE distributing Stones concert

The WWE announced that it will be distributing the Rolling Stones final PPV concert this year.  Entitled “One More Shot,” it is the biggest foray into the new entertainment fields the WWE hopes to expand into the field of entertainment.

The WWE is working with media entertainment company Endemol and promoters Dainty Group to distribute the Rolling Stones’ concert.  The WWE was sought out based on its handling of big PPVs such as its annual Wrestlemania events.

The concert will be the fourth and final concert from the Stones’ 50th anniversary concerts.  It will be held on December 15th.

Payout Take:  It will be interesting to see the execution of this event.  The WWE will be announcing its 3rd Quarter results in November and we should here more of its plans for its entertainment division.  The WWE is looking to monetize its production and distribution business and we shall see how aggressive it will be to seek out other opportunities.

Miami receives positive $100M economic impact from Wrestlemania 28

The WWE indicated in a press release this week that Wrestlemania 28 generated $102.7M in economic impact to the host city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.  The impact, obtained from an economic study done by Enigma Research Corporation, represents a $40M increase from WM 27 in Atlanta.

Some interesting numbers from the WWE press release:

-$102.7 million of direct, indirect and induced impact derived from spending by
non-locals visiting specifically for WrestleMania XXVIII.
-71% of fans that attended WrestleMania were from outside the Miami area and stayed an average of four nights.
The economic impact derived from WrestleMania Week was equal to the creation of 1,020 full-time jobs for the area.
-$6.9 million was spent by non-locals at Miami and Miami-Dade County restaurants.

Payout Take  Certainly we can poke holes in the economic impact study as there’s no indication whether it was commissioned by the WWE.  Still, Wrestlemania is a big sports entertainment extravaganza and it has fans from all over flocking to the host city.  Moreover, it has city tourism boards vying for the opportunity to be the next city to host.  Even if the numbers are rounding up, one cannot deny that a host city, especially in this economy, would reap financial gain from hosting the event.

Bellator 76: 175,000 viewers

October 17, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that Bellator 76 ratings scored a 175,000 viewer average.  The show featured the last contracted appearance of lightweight Eddie Alvarez.

Bellator 74:  190,000

Bellator 75:  145,000

Bellator 76:  175,000

The third episode of the 7th season is now at an average of 170,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

On a night when MLB and TUF were on, Bellator came through with a respectable number.  Not to mention TUF had its worst showing ever. Of course, the organization is likely to lose one of its top fighters in Eddie Alvarez.  We will see if Bellator can recover with the loss of Alvarez.

Sonnen-Jones set for TUF 17 Coaches, fight April 2013

October 16, 2012

The LA Times reported that Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones will be opposing coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 17 set to air on FX this spring.  The two coaches will face one another on April 27th.

This likely means that Chael Sonnen, coming off of a KO loss to Anderson Silva at middleweight, skips the line of challengers at Light Heavyweight to get a shot at Jon Jones’ title.  Jones had made vague references to a possible showdown with the reigning King of Smack via twitter.  Sonnen goaded Jones after he refused a possible bout at UFC 151.

Payout Perspective:

How appropriate that this announcement comes out the day after TUF’s worst ratings ever were made public.  The booking is good television but bad for UFC morale and does not reflect a long range plan.  The UFC is banking on Jones-Sonnen to boost its TUF ratings and then a fight in the spring could draw a PPV buy rate close to 1 Million.  The booking is a tacit admission that the TUF series, at least in America, is below expectations with ratings.  The move reflects the need to inject something into the TUF franchise.  TUF has done this before with putting Brock Lesnar on as a coach and Kimbo Slice as a contestant as two examples.  While the Lesnar placement did not help, Slice (plus Rashad and Rampage) aided season 10 ratings.

We will see how this plays out for the TUF series and the future of the Light Heavyweight division.

TUF 16 Episode 5: 624,000 viewers

October 15, 2012

MMA Junkie reports that the fifth episode of TUF received a dismal 624,000 viewer average.  The rating is the lowest for the TUF series.

TUF 16 Episode 1: 947,000

TUF 16 Episode 2: 872,000

TUF 16 Episode 3: 775,000

TUF 16 Episode 4: 1.1 million

TUF 15 Episode 5: 624,000

Payout Perspective:

One might argue that the MLB Baseball Playoffs were on Friday night but with the exception of last week, the ratings have dropped each week.  Five episodes in and it still looks like there may not be a floor to the TUF ratings.

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