Hayabusa becomes official glove for Glory

June 26, 2015

Glory has announced that it is partnering with Hayabusa to be the official competition glove for Glory Kickboxing.  The partnership will begin Friday, August 7th with Glory 23 according to a company release.

The gloves will be revealed to the public during fight week leading up to Glory 23.  The gloves will also be used during the co-promoted show with Bellator on September 19.

Via press release:

“The name Hayabusa is well-recognized by the world of combat sports as the ultimate in performance equipment and technical apparel,” said GLORY CEO Jon Franklin, who helped broker the deal. “Our athletes deserve the very best when it comes to not only their performance and comfort, but their safety, and we feel this deal provides the finest gloves available.”

Payout Perspective:

Hayabusa is one of the many combat sports brands in a state of flux as it navigates the new state of sponsorships in MMA.  The company announced that it would not be at the UFC Fan Expo this year as only official UFC sponsors will be allowed at the event.  With the UFC-Reebok deal, Hayabusa will no longer be in the UFC octagon and the company has shifted its focus.  A recent MMA Junkie article wrote about what MMA brands are doing in light of the UFC-Reebok deal.  For Hayabusa, it meant a 3 year deal with Glory.  The company intends to spend some of its marketing and sponsorship budget usually earmarked for the UFC to Glory and its fighters as well as Bellator.  We shall see what it means for Hayabusa and its business.

Does GSP make $12M a year?

November 21, 2013

Forbes.com ran an article last week on Georges St. Pierre and how he makes $12 million per year.  The article gives a rundown of all of GSPs revenue streams including salary, PPV and sponsorships.

According to Forbes, GSP made “roughly $9 million combined from his past two fights” and another $3 million from “endorsements, memorabilia and licensing.”

If we are to parse out his past two fights, which would be UFC 158 (against Nick Diaz) and UFC 154 (against Carlos Condit) he would have made $870,000 in reported salary and bonuses and an additional $8,130,000.

GSP’s payday for UFC 158 was $400,000 total.  The buy rate was a reported 950,000 PPV buys.

GSP’s payday for UFC 154 was $200,000show/$200,000 win plus $70,000 for Fight of the Night for a total of $470,000.  The buy rate was a reported 700,000 PPV buys.

If GSP received the rest of his pay via PPV revenue for the past two events, he received around $5 per PPV buy. While his $9 million in pay has been reported from sources close to GSP according to the article, extrapolating the numbers from the pay sources (i.e., salary, bonuses, PPV), it’s debatable whether his earnings were $9 million for the past 2 fights. He may have received another lump sum bonus, but once again, this seems like a hefty amount of money to give GSP.

The $3 million in sponsorships is believable as GSP has blue chip sponsors in Under Armour, Coca Cola, Google and MMA brands Affliction and Hayabusa.

Next year, GSP’s earnings will also include his part in a Captain America movie which will open in 2014.

Payout Perspective:

As Dana White told and retold reporters on Saturday night, GSP is rich.  GSPs salary/bonuses and PPV upside has to be the biggest in the company if he could make over $8 million in PPV earnings alone. But making $5 per PPV buy would seem very high for just one fighter.  Whether or not GSP has made $9 million in his last two fights, it’s clear that he’s the highest paid fighter in the company.  The TMZ rumors are bad for business for GSP’s personal brand but should not affect his UFC earnings.  At this point, GSP does not need to fight so long as he’s invested his money wisely.  But knowing that he’s a big draw, the UFC will try to keep him (despite his hefty salary) from taking too long of an absence.

UFC 164: Payout Perspective

September 2, 2013

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we go to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take a look at UFC 164 where the lightweight title changed hands.

Stain remains for Bendo as Showtime subs Henderson

In a sudden, decisive and anti-climactic way, Benson Henderson’s title reign ended Saturday as Anthony Pettis made Bendo submit to an armbar in the first round.  Henderson, a newly minted jiu jitsu black belt appeared to use a technique known as the “can opener” while in Pettis’ guard (a move used by GSP as well) to improve position and open guard. The problem is that the technique is susceptible to an armbar.

Pettis wins the lightweight title and might have a shot at Jose Aldo in his next fight dependent on the status of his knee.  A bad spot for Henderson here.  With the decisive loss, Henderson will have to wait for Pettis to lose the title and/or win a couple fights in a row in decisive fashion.  For a guy that defended the belt three times and having to had defend it a fourth time in Pettis’ hometown, and then told he wouldn’t get a rematch, it has to be deflating.

UFC_164_Bendo_vs_Pettis

War Master KOs Mir

Both guys have reasons to hate them.  In this battle, Barnett was able to land a knee which took Mir down.  While the stoppage may have been premature, Mir did not look like someone that could have made a comeback.  It will be interesting to see where the UFC puts Barnett next.  He could be a contender, but he did just fight a past his prime Mir. As some have suggested, a Mir-Overeem matchup seems just right for so many reasons.

Mendes takes care of The Carpenter

Chad Mendes solidified his position as next in line for the Featherweight title as he knocked out Clay Guida.  Prior to the stoppage, Guida had never been stopped in his career.

Its his fourth straight stoppage since being stopped himself by Jose Aldo in January 2012.  Depending on whether Aldo fights Pettis, Mendes should get the next shot at Aldo.  If not, Ricardo Lamas or Cub Swanson seem ready for him.

Rothwell stops The Truth

Ben Rothwell decided to do a “Clay Guida” like impression in the final round of his fight with Brandon Vera and overwhelmed Vera causing him to cover himself waiting for the ref to stop the fight.  Rothwell used his post-Octagon interview time to thank the fans and then call out Travis Browne.  For the second straight fight, Vera was in a position where he waited for the ref stoppage (Shogun Rua stopped Vera last August in similar fashion).

Attendance, Gate and Bonuses

As we reported earlier, attendance was 9,178 for a gate of $907,116.  It was decisively better for a previous visit to the Bradley Center for a UFC on Versus 5 card.

Bonuses of $50K each were given to Anthony Pettis (Sub), Chad Mendes (KO) and Hyung Gim Lin and Pascal Krauss (FOTN).  Arguably, Lin could have been a double recipient for KO.  Magnus Cedenblad could have had the Sub of the Night as well for his quick work on the prelim card.

UFC Countdown

The Countdown show featured The Showtime Kick…of course.  Aside from hearing about the history of the fight that shut down the WEC, the feature on Josh Barnett and Frank Mir was excellent.  It reminded people that both these guys held the UFC title at one point.

Sponsorships

The Octagon sponsors included TapouT, UltimatePoker.net, Dodge, MetroPCS, MusclePharm, the latest video game from Assassin’s Creed, Harley Davidson and Bud Light in the center.  The Discovery Channel’s Ahmish Mafia also sponsored the PPV which I do not quite understand.

UFC 164 was sponsored/presented by Harley Davidson which presented its Hometown Throwdown promotion for the 110th Anniversary of the company.  It had a special “110” logo on the Octagon mat to commemorate the occasion. Also, Harley Davidsons graced the stage during the weigh-ins and Arianny and Brittany wore the branded colors of Harley Davidson. There were also Harley Davidson events which included UFC fighters doing autograph signings as part of the brand activation.

Pettis’ sponsors included Hayabusa, Headrush, Corn Nuts and Toyo Tires.  Henderson was sponsored by Dethrone which also came out with Dethrone “toothpicks”. Phoenix International Speedway, Musclepharm and Training Mask were the ex-champs other sponsors.  FighterxFashion has Henderson’s fight shorts here which depicts the fact he now has a jiu jitsu black belt.

Hayabusa had a cadre of fighters wearing its shorts including Pettis.

Frank Mir was sponsored by the UFC and also wore out the UFC sponsored Monster Headphones to the ring.  He also had big logos for Midway, which appears to be some sort of exercise equipment.

Best walkout shirt of the night was Josh Barnett’s which was drawn by Kiyoshi Nakazawa.

Post-UFC 164 Headlines

Who is next for Pettis?  It was made clear that Benson Henderson would not get a rematch.  It appears that Pettis may want to go after Jose Aldo which begs the questions of whether the UFC wants a “superfight” between two of its division champions which it could market and sell for the possibility of a high PPV number.  Or, does the UFC make Pettis defend against TJ Grant.  While he’s earned the shot, Grant is not really known and would not elevate Pettis in terms of PPV star.  While Pettis is not a PPV draw yet, he has the entertaining style, good looks and great backstory to be a guy people would want to follow (one might recall his “World of Jenks” episode) He is a marketable fighter and one would think the UFC needs to capitalize on this.

Truth departure likely delayed.  The UFC has been kind to Brandon Vera.  He was cut but that was rescinded when it was discovered that Thiago Silva tested positive for a banned substance.  The announcement that the UFC wants to head to the Philippines in 2014 means that Vera is likely to stay in the UFC to help promote the visit as well as fight.  Aside from this, there is no reason why Vera should stay.

Odds and Ends

-Since its debut on FS1, it appears that the UFC is putting up Vegas Odds in the introductory fighter graphic.  An interesting move.  Does this encourage people to gamble?

-Pettis’ chain he wore post-fight was a nice touch.

-Somewhere Brian Stann was likely smiling.  Vera had called out Brian Stann for questioning Phil Davis’ win over Lyoto Machida.

-Sure Barnett has had a checkered past, but how can you not like a guy that almost suplexed Joe Rogan in his post-Octagon interview.

-Doesn’t Tim Elliott look like the WWE’s Daniel Bryan?

-Dethrone trotted out Benson Henderson toothpicks (via FighterxFashion) so you too can learn this disgusting habit.

ben-henderson-toothpicks

Conclusion

It was an entertaining card which had a very intriguing rematch in the main event.  But was that enough?  The start of college football season and the three day weekend may contribute to a lower PPV buy rate.  In addition, the lack of a true PPV star will limit the amount of buys.  One might expect around 300,000 buys for this event.

Hayabusa, GSP apologize for “Rising Sun” Gi

March 31, 2013

Last week Georges St. Pierre came under criticism for wearing a gi with the Rising Sun flag inspired by Imperial Japan.  The Korean Zombie Chang Sun Jung wrote an open letter to GSP on KZ’s Facebook page criticizing his apparel.

In response, Hayabusa has taken the product off the market and GSP added a personal apology for those it may have offended.

KZ compared the Rising Sun flag similar to the German Hakenkreuzflagge.

The Rising Sun Flag and symbol was used by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.  It is a symbol of oppression for many Koreans as expressed in KZ’s letter.

This may not be just a publicity stunt but a legitimate issue.  As Maggie Hendricks of Cagewriter points out, some South Koreans took offense to a Rising-Sun inspired uniform worn by Japanese gymnasts at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. 

Fortunately, Hayabusa and GSP acted swiftly and issued an apology in pulling the gi off the market.  Via Hayabusa Facebook:

Since Georges St-Pierre wore our walkout gi at UFC 158 we have received attention surrounding the negative connotation of the rising sun graphic used. The last thing we want is to offend or alienate anyone with the choice of design on our products.

We at Hayabusa have the utmost respect for culture and history and appreciate all of our customers worldwide. As such, we accept full responsibility for this design and are taking all complaints and comments very seriously.

The gi worn by GSP will not be brought to market. In addition, we will be very conscious of this specific design element when developing future communication materials and products.

Please accept our sincerest apology for any offence this has caused. If you have any questions or comments regarding this matter, please feel free to discuss it with us at customerservice@hayabusafightwear.com. One of our representatives will be happy to assist you.

Sincerely,

Craig Clement

Co-President

Hayabusa Fightwear Inc.

GSP also issued a public apology on his Facebook page: ” I’d like to also personally apologize to anyone who was offended by this. I am very sorry, that was never my intention.”

Payout Perspective:

It was a good move by Hayabusa and GSP to act swiftly to avoid further conflict.  Certainly Hayabusa realizes its market and it does not want to offend those in it especially after the origins of the design have been highlighted as a symbol of oppression.  Which begs the question, why didn’t research and development for Hayabusa realize the negative connotations of the Rising Sun design.  The Rising Sun design was worn by GSP in his last fight vs Carlos Condit (although the Rising Sun design was black on his gi). So, this was not a new design for UFC 158; just a different color.

KZ’s letter was pointed, articulate and argued his point of view without being confrontational.  Obviously, one might also think his letter as a way to garner some press on the heels of one of the bigger PPVs in over a year.  Still, if KZ honestly believed that the Rising Sun flag is a sign of oppression that he felt deeply about he should be applauded for taking a stand and pointing out a wrong.  

There are many designs and logos that are culturally and racially insensitive that go by without being noticed because no one complains or the complaints fall on deaf ears.  Certainly pulling the gis from sale is a business hit for Hayabusa but it immediately saw that the PR hit would outweigh the economic benefit.  In the end, all involved handled the issue without it getting bigger than it could be.