Round 5 signs licensing agreement with Bruce Lee Enterprises

May 17, 2011

Round 5 collectibles announced today that it has signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Bruce Lee Enterprises to produce Bruce Lee-themed collectibles, toys and games until 2015.

Via Round 5 press release:

“We are honored to be working with a brand with such a storied legacy as Bruce Lee,” Lau said. “We feel that we can use this opportunity to broaden the reach of both Bruce Lee and Round 5 into the niche collectible and mainstream arenas as there is already so much synergy between our brands.”

Shannon Lee, President & CEO of Bruce Lee Enterprises and daughter of Bruce Lee, believes Round 5 is the perfect partner to carry her father’s legacy into the 21st century.

“We are constantly approached by companies that want to create products under the Bruce Lee name, but we always knew we wanted to wait until we found a company that would adequately compliment my father’s legacy,” said Lee. “We are so very proud to have found Damon Lau and Round 5, we believe that Round 5 will honor my father’s name and create products that will respect his legacy.”

Development on Bruce Lee products has begun and Round 5 expects Lee products by the fall of 2011.

Payout Perspective:

As you may recall, in addition to Bruce Lee, Round 5 has a licensing deal with the UFC. This move helps Round 5 in the combat sports market as Bruce Lee is still a very popular figure amongst fight enthusiasts. For Bruce Lee Enterprises, its a good move considering the work and exposure Round 5 has received working with the UFC.

UFC and JAKKS Pacific Release New Line

April 7, 2010

Jesse Holland of MMAMania.com does a good job of breaking down the latest series of UFC figurines to come out of JAKKS Pacific (courtesy of the UFC Toys Facebook page). Information is also available on the Jakks website.

Payout Perspective:

Here’s where the UFC license sharing deal between JAKKS and Round 5 MMA comes into play. Many of the new figurines that debut as part of this new series with JAKKS were fighters originally held by Round 5. The deal has opened up a greater array of options to both companies, including promotional tie-in with the much larger and more recognizable UFC brand.

It’s a good example of co-operation within the industry growing the entire pie of market demand.

Note: the use of social media by the UFC; these guys have  a Facebook page and Twitter account for nearly everything it seems. Traffic on social networking sites is out-pacing even the most highly visited of traditional sites — it’s a smart move.

MMAterial Facts (01/26/10)

January 26, 2010

  • Affliction’s Motion to Dismiss Denied in Fedor Lawsuit
  • LNF Ultra Cage MMA fighters raise money for breast cancer
  • New Mixed Martial Arts Search Engine and Directory
  • Ontario leads world in MMA devotion, UFC says
  • UFC fights still not welcome in Ontario despite the sports growing popularity in the province
  • UFC’s big hopes for the Big Apple

Affliction’s Motion to Dismiss Denied in Fedor Lawsuit

Fedor Emelianenko and his promotional team survived a first-round attack Monday in a legal battle that pits them against their former business partner, Affliction Entertainment.

Affliction’s attorney, Michael Bassiri, confirmed to Sherdog.com that a Los Angeles federal judge had denied Affliction’s motion to dismiss several claims made in a breach of contract lawsuit filed Oct. 28 by Emelianenko and M-1 Global.

The case is set to go to trial on Nov. 16.

Emelianenko and M-1 Global, a promotional/management group with which the fighter is closely aligned, have sued Affliction for damages following Affliction Entertainment’s decision to cancel its co-promoted “Trilogy” event, which was scheduled to take place Aug. 1 in Anaheim, Calif. (Sherdog) … [MMAPayout’s Perspective]

LNF Ultra Cage MMA fighters raise money for breast cancer

“It ended up being a great show,” LNF Ultra Cage Fighters founder Dan Ferrie said. “We had enough entertainment for everybody. (Glen) Big Baby Davis came, so we had the stars out. From the kid’s demonstrations, to the Human Floor, to the fights—it had something for everybody.”

“It was a very good night,” LNF Director Greg Mendes agreed. “Everybody pulled together. You know, me and Dan did a lot of work, but the final result was a culmination of everybody picking up all the loose odds and ends. And we had everything, from boxing, to kickboxing matches, MMA matches, and (strict) grappling. In the fights nobody got hurt real bad, which is always good, and everybody joining together to raise awareness really shows what type of people we have in the surrounding communities out here.”

It also demonstrated the intense following of mixed martial arts on the local level. Despite several supposed setbacks, the Holiday Inn was swarming with eager fans.

“MMA is drawing fans better than ever,” Mendes said. “And if it’s this good now, just imagine five years down the road—it will be the biggest thing out here. And hopefully New England can be a Mecca for the sport.”

Before entering the event room, patrons were greeted by the thumping bass from DJ Al Martinez, who kept the atmosphere buzzing throughout the evening. Singer Angella Kronillis also delighted the crowd with a stirring rendition of “God Bless America.”  (Taunton Daily Gazette)

New Mixed Martial Arts Search Engine and Directory

Bridgewater, NJ (PRWEB) January 24, 2010 — Index MMA has launched a mixed martial arts directory and search engine. Located at www.indexmma.com , this website is a database of all mixed martial arts websites on the Internet. The worldwide directory consists entirely of user submitted websites.

“The sport of mma is growing incredibly fast and there are new websites all over the world created daily,” said Shawn Ayre president of Zelfanet. “We created a website to accommodate this phenomenon. Now a mma fan can jump on one website and search through a plethora of websites that may have been buried or not even listed in traditional search engines. This is exciting news for mixed martial arts enthusiasts”.

The website was created by the web design group of Zelfanet LLC. Zelfanet is a leading provider of technology solutions based out of New Jersey, USA.  (PR Web)

Ontario leads world in MMA devotion, UFC says

More than any other part of the world, Ontario has the most interest in pay-per-view shows for mixed martial arts, the Ultimate Fighting Championship says.

“When we look at our TV ratings and our pay-per-view buys, on a per-capita basis, Toronto and Ontario are the No. 1 places in the world,” UFC executive Marc Ratner tells the Toronto Sun. “It’s unbelievably popular in the province of Ontario and especially Toronto.”

Although Quebec has hosted UFC events and Vancouver plans to do so later this year, Ontario officials say MMA remains illegal in their province for now. But UFC can draw a crowd of 35,000 to 40,000 in Toronto, says Ratner, the promotion’s vice president of regulatory affairs.  (USA Today) … [MMAPayout Perspective]

UFC fights still not welcome in Ontario despite the sports growing popularity in the province

On the phone from his office in Las Vegas, Marc Ratner says bluntly that if Ontario were to legalize mixed martial arts, the biggest-ever UFC event in history would go down in Toronto.

“We think we can draw 35,000 to 40,000 there,” said Ratner, vice-president of regulatory affairs for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Despite his desert locale, Ratner should know what he’s talking about when it comes to Canada’s most populous city. As the UFC’s expansion point-man, he’s spent years lobbying state and provincial governments to pass laws legalizing the controversial UFC. Most of them have. Queen’s Park hasn’t.

According to Ratner, there isn’t a place on earth that boasts more of an interest in UFC than Ontario.

Provincial athletics commissioner Ken Hayashi, who rightly or wrongly has been perceived by some as being anti-MMA because of his strict adherence to federal Criminal Code regulations, which in his interpretation outlaws mixed martial arts, didn’t respond to calls and e-mails from the Sun.

In a story last year by the Sun’s Steve Buffery, Hayashi maintained his stance that mixed martial arts is an illegal activity in Canada.

Until Sec. 83 is changed to allow for professional combat sports beyond what the law calls a “boxing contest,” there won’t be any UFC bouts in Ontario, Hayashi has said.  (Toronto Sun)

UFC’s big hopes for the Big Apple

When Gov. Jim Doyle signs the bill sometime this week, Wisconsin will become the 43rd state to regulate mixed martial arts.

It’s one that doesn’t regulate it that still stands out, however. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been desperate to get into New York and has spent thousands on its lobbying effort.

But there will be no MMA in New York any time soon, even if the state legislature sends a bill to the desk of Gov. David Patterson for his signature in the next few months. That’s because once the bill is signed by the governor, there would be a 120-day window that would have to pass before the bill became law and the sport became legal and regulated by the New York State Athletic Commission.

If the state does pass a bill this year, this is a thought that may essentially give UFC president Dana White a license to print money: Hold the company’s annual New Year’s Eve show in Madison Square Garden with a bout featuring reigning heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. (Who knows if he’ll hold the belt then, but he should be the headliner regardless.)

January 1, 2011, is a Saturday, the day the UFC normally holds its pay-per-view events. How about a New Year’s Eve weigh-in and then a fight to kick off the New Year in the world’s most famous arena?  (Yahoo! Sports)

QUICK HITS

  • Hansen challenges Fernandes for DREAM title (Yahoo! Sports)
  • Round 5 Announces UFC Ultimate Collector Series 2 (Round5)
  • MMA fighting: Bobby Lashley ready for bout at BankAtlantic Center (Miami Herald)
  • Bobby Lashley Sees Positives of Opponent Shuffling (MMAFighting)
  • Herschel Walker to Debut in MMA (Financial News USA)
  • Walker uses star power to hype fight  (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
  • Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal cautiously optimistic on potential bout with Gegard Mousasi (MMAJunkie)
  • Tokyo Five Signs Matt Serra For Sponsorship At UFC 109 (FightLine)
  • 11 Bouts Signed for UFC’s Versus Debut (Sherdog)
  • Griffin vs L’il Nog at UFC 113 (Yahoo! Sports)
  • Josh Gross: Stoic Zaromskis shoots for Strikeforce welter title (Sports Illustrated)
  • Liddell, 40, has plenty of fight left in him  (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
  • Cole Konrad, Training Partner of Brock Lesnar’s, Wins MMA Debut (MMAFighting)
  • Nick Diaz Happy With Welterweight Return (MMAWeekly)
  • 12 Questions for Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos (Sherdog)
  • Shine Fights inks Dave “Pee Wee” Herman; bout with Jeff Monson likely for spring (MMAJunkie)
  • Mauler Manhoef aware of shortcomings (ESPN)
  • King Of The Cage Japan: “Toryumon” Preview (MMARising)

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Round 5 MMA Ultimate Collection

TV LISTINGS

  • HDNet Fights Presents K-1 Classics (Musashi Tribute) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (01/29/10)
  • InsideMMA (Gegard Mousasi, Gilbert Melendez, & Tony Lopez) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (01/29/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents Best of DREAM Super Hulk GP at 10 PM ET on HDNet (01/29/10)
  • Best of Pride FC  at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike (01/29/10)
  • Strikeforce Miami: Diaz vs Zaromskis at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (01/30/10)
  • Countdown to UFC 109 at 12:30 AM ET/PT on Spike (01/30/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Strikeforce Miami: Diaz vs Zaromskis at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (01/30/10)
  • FCF 39: Women’s 135 lbs Grand Prix: Opening Round on PPV (01/30/10)
  • KOTC: Toryumon from Okinawa, Japan on PPV (01/30/10)
  • UFC 109 at 10 PM ET on PPV (02/06/10)

MMAPayout.com Interview with Cung Le

September 22, 2009

MMAPayout.com recently sat down with former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le to discuss a variety of topics including vacating the Strikeforce title, MMA fighters transitioning to the entertainment field, and Le’s numerous side projects.

KP: I guess we’ll start with the obvious question that I’m sure you’ve answered more than a few times now: why was vacating the belt the right move? I ask in part, because the answer is the perfect segue to the bulk of our interview today.

CL: It was the right move, because I haven’t been able to defend my title, and it’s been over a year and a half now. I’ve been busy with films, so I felt like the promoter putting up the interim belt was because he was awaiting my return soon. But I felt that since I’ve been gone so long and I’m not ready to do a five rounder, I needed to take a step back and vacate the belt so the top fighters in Strikeforce could have a shot.

KP: If you do come back, how many fights will you have left on the contract with Strikeforce?

CL: I’ll have four fights left.

KP: There seem to be a lot of guys moving from MMA into entertainment. What would you say is the main motivation there: fame, fortune, experience, or something else?

CL: Well, I wouldn’t say that there are a lot of guys moving into movies. I think that there’s a really small handful from Rampage to Randy, and now Gina and myself. It’s only a really small group like that, that are able to take part in studio films like Warner Bros or the other big studios.

I feel like it’s a good thing for the sport – it generates a lot more awareness. It gets a lot more MMA fans, or non-MMA people who don’t pay attention to MMA, to look at the names in MMA.

KP: The latest incident between Rampage Jackson and the UFC has raised some interesting questions in regards to how promotions should go about handling promoting fighters in the future – the success of a fighter is highly correlated to the promotional push he receives.

Where do you draw the line between completing your obligations to a promoter, but also at the same time looking out for your best interests and taking those opportunities as they come?

CL: The line for me – I can’t speak on Rampage’s part – is that I’ve always had an open line of communication with my promoter, Scott Coker. When we sit down and talk, we’re very strategic about how it needs to happen on both ends to make it a win-win situation.

On my end, I need to live up to the part where if I’m not competing, I’m always promoting Strikeforce in the best way that I can. In interviews, any radio, and any kind of media that I get outside of MMA, I always make sure to push Strikeforce in every way that I can. It’s always Strikeforce MW Champion Cung Le starring in Pandorum alongside Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster, or Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Cung Le, starring in Fighting with Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard, etc. It may not be fair to the fans, but it’s fair to the promotion.

I know I also have an obligation to the fans, but I think that every time I’ve stepped in the cage, I’ve come to fight and put on a good show. I think most of the fans understand that, “hey, I’d be doing the same thing too if I had the opportunity to not get punched in the face, but still get paid.”

A lot of people don’t realize that I’m doing studio films that get released in theatres; whether they’re limited releases or full releases like Fighting and Pandorum. Also, when we go to DVD, I can expect to get a royalty cheque every three months in the mail.

KP: So, just to give the fans some idea of the film environment context: how many fights would you need to take in order to balance out what you might make on your next film?

CL: Basically it depends on the part. I think the best thing to say would be that I’m one to two movies away from making seven figures. You could say that my next project, I’m expecting to make three times as much for 8-10 weeks of film work as I would for one fight.

At the same time, I’ve got millions and millions of dollars behind the project and behind my name. It reflects back upon me, but also back upon Strikeforce because I’m the middleweight champion.

 You know, at one point I was training to fight while doing the movies, but now that the roles are getting bigger I no longer have the time to film during the day and train at night. I hardly have enough time in the morning to get prepared on set and make sure I’m ready to film; and when I’m done, I’m exhausted. I’m on the set for nearly 14 hours a day – it’s not just acting, but stunts and A-unit and B-unit and it really doubles your work.

It’s really demanding and there isn’t time to train, so I just try to stay in shape and feel good about myself and do the best I can on the movie set.

 KP: Speaking from your experience, then, can an MMA fighter do both? Can an MMA fighter do a movie for ten weeks and then flip right back into the training? Can they do it consistently?

CL: Only the most disciplined fighter can do that, and I was able to do that in the beginning – do a project while training to fight.

But, now that I’m at the higher level of fighting, I have to make sure that my camp is at the highest level. Likewise in the films, I’m now getting larger roles that prevent me from training, and it comes to the point where I can only do one or the other.

 I can’t do both at the same time like I used to – those fights are a little out of reach now, especially because the fights are getting really tough.

KP: What would be your advice for any fighters – like Rampage or any marketable fighter – looking to get into the film business? Do you have any advice that might help them?

CL: The first thing is that you make sure you take your acting classes – you’re only as good as your acting. They might cast you, but getting cast doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to do all the things that they ask of you. I would have never got Pandorum had I not gone through some pretty intensive classes to really prepare for the role.

Also make sure that you have an open line of communication with your promoter. You need to be able to parlay communication into something that’s going to work for both the promoter and yourself.

KP: Mind telling us about your new movie, Pandorum?

Yeah! I play the role of an agriculturalist on this ship. Basically this ship has 60,000 that they have recruited from different countries, and everyone is specialized in something, for the purpose of rebuilding another planet. It’s almost like Noah’s Arc, but it’s not like Star Trek where you can just jump to another system – it takes time to get from one solar system to another.

Over this period, everyone is staying in a sleep chamber to preserve their youth, so that when they get on this planet they’re able to re-start mankind. But, along the way people wake up and find that things aren’t going the way they should.

KP: When does it come out?

CL: It’ll be out on September 25th.

KP: I also understand you’ve got a deal with Round5 MMA to make a figurine, right?

CL: I’ve actually got two of them, and they’re both already out. The limited edition you can find on CungLe.com, and the other one can be found at Toys ‘R Us or KB Toys.

KP: You’re the consummate professional and a great self-promoter. Thanks for taking the time to speak with MMAPayout.com and we’re all looking forward to the day when you return to the cage!

CL: Thanks. I will be back!

eTopps Enters the Octagon with Ultimate Fighting Championship® Cards

July 13, 2009

As the sport of Mixed Martial Arts grows in popularity, eTopps is proud to partner with the premier organization in the industry to offer Ultimate Fighting Championship® eTopps cards! eTopps is the exclusive online trading card of UFC®, and will begin offering special limited-edition cards in brilliant eTopps technology featuring the most dominant fighters in the UFC®, commemorating their performance in some of UFC®’s biggest events. These cards will be the most beautiful, most premium UFC cards available anywhere!

The First Offering Begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, 7/13, Following UFC 100!

Beginning Monday, July 13, the first eTopps Ultimate Fighting Championship® cards will be available for purchase at 4:00 PM (ET) via online offering . These first cards of the collection will feature fighters who competed in the historic UFC 100, they will be available for one week, and will be sequentially numbered to limited quantities.

Future Offerings Will Feature Top UFC® Performers.

The eTopps UFC® collection will return on Monday, August 10, following UFC 101 and once again capture dominant fighters from this event! Ongoing we will continue to offer special eTopps UFC® cards paying tribute to the Octagon’s most dominant fighters, legendary names, current champions and breakout performers!

Round 5 to debut limited edition figurines at UFC Fan Expo

July 6, 2009

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada – Mixed martial arts fans and other collectors attending UFC Fan Expo on Friday and Saturday at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas will be first in line as Round 5 unveils its premiere “Limited Edition,” individually numbered figurines, featuring MMA stars Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson. Available for the first time at the Round 5 booth (#427), the Rua collectible includes his signature Bad Boy Walk Out t-shirt while Henderson’s comes with an American Flag, and both come in packaging that is distinct from the standard Series 4 issue, also debuting at Fan Expo.

Attendees Have First Chance at Numbered Series with Personalized Features, Packaging; Couture, ‘Shogun,’ Wanderlei Silva To Appear Live at Round 5 Booth

Rua will also join Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva at the booth as they meet fans and sign autographs during the two days. On Friday, “Shogun” will sign from 3 – 5 p.m., while Couture will be there from 6 – 7 p.m. On Saturday, Silva will be available from 2 – 3:30pm and “Shogun” from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Only 2,548 of the Limited Edition ‘Shogun’ and Henderson collectibles will ever be made, and just 252 – in numerical order beginning at Fan Expo opening at 10 a.m. on Friday – will be available each day at Expo.

“The UFC Fan Expo is a unique opportunity for us to connect with fans who have enjoyed the first three Series, and we’re pleased to reward them with the advance availability of the Limited Edition and Series 4 as well as the meet-and-greets with three of our stars,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 president.

The first shipments of Series 4, which includes “Shogun,” Henderson, Gina Carano, Cung Le and Matt Serra, are going to Las Vegas. They are expected to be available at retail locations across North America and online at www.Round5MMA.com later this month or in early August.

Round 5 plans to release collectibles of two additional series of athletes later in 2009, one during each quarter. Athletes to be represented in those series are yet to be announced.

Round 5 collectible figures may be purchased at leading retailers such as Walmart (Canada), Toys ‘R’ Us, FYE, Century Martial Arts, Sunrise Records, The Treadmill Factory and Hatashita International. Other retailers can be found at www.round5mma.com/wheretobuy.php

Fight Biz Quote: Round 5's Damon Lau

June 21, 2009

It really varies but artistically speaking, it takes about six to twelve months to develop something. When I tell people that, they think it is crazy, but the process gets really in-depth. We usual start by setting up a photo shoot, so that we have reference images to use. After the photo shoot, we move to clay sculpting. Clay sculpting usual goes into hundreds of revisions between the internal product development team and obviously, the approval from the athlete. After clay sculpting, we usually go into creating a painted sample. The painted samples are a hardened clay with paint on them. We begin selecting the paint and working with sponsors to get the appropriate rights to reproduce their logos. After that, we go into molding and that goes into product and plastics engineering. After plastics engineering, it goes into Pantone paint samples. We have to have dozens of paint colors that have to be manually selected for everything between the eye color to the color on the shorts. Then there is still the product packing, marketing, mass production, shipping logistics and distribution! It is a very large and intensive process to create the product that ends up in the customers hands but it is very rewarding for sure!

–Damon Lau of MMA figurine maker Round 5, discussing the arduous process of bringing a figurine to market. The long process is worth it, as the new Shogun Rua and Dan Henderson figurines are some of the finest work they have done so far.

Round 5 Gets Clearance in Canada Walmart

May 6, 2009

MMA Figurine maker announced today it has gotten access to Walmart stores throughout the province of Ontario. This could be the first step in a broader relationship between Round 5 and the Walmart’s south of the Canadian border. Walmart is increasingly becoming a prime vehicle for MMA merchandise, with MMA Authentics MMA Elite doing good numbers since the were introduced to the store last year.

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada, May 6, 2009 – Round 5, the leader in collectible mixed martial arts figurines, today announced that Walmart Canada will carry the collectibles in its stores across the country beginning this month. Walmart Canada will stock the two current Series, which are comprised of eight popular MMA figures, as well as planned future Series.

“Having our figurines available at Walmart locations will significantly boost our exposure throughout the country,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 President. “Walmart Canada serves more than one million customers each day, bringing great visibility to the Round 5 brand and products.”

Round 5 has announced partnerships with more than 20 mixed martial arts stars to date, with eight figurines already available: Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Tito Ortiz (Series 1); and Rich Franklin, Sean Sherk, Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva (Series 2). Series 3 figurines are scheduled to be available in May, featuring Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski, “Big John” McCarthy, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira.

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Series 4, which is scheduled for release in time for UFC 100 in July, features an expanded line of six figures. Women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano, international superstar Fedor Emelianenko, and recent additions Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Matt Serra are included in the Series.

Round 5 plans to release collectibles of two additional series of athletes later in 2009, one during each quarter. Canadian Jason MacDonald has signed to be part of one of those releases, while other athletes to be represented in those series are yet to be announced.

UFC Hvywt Carwin Offers Custom Pendant

May 3, 2009

With the UFC cutting their own deal with Skeletal Metal, others in the MMA field are making their own moves into the jewelry market aimed at MMA fans. UFC heavyweight contender Shane Carwin recently signed on with NightRider Jewlery to offer a specially designed pendant for MMA fans, which you can view below:

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This is the signature piece of UFC Heavyweight contender Shane Carwin. A special thanks to him for producing the inspiration for this awesome piece.

The cross wrapped with celtic knots hangs seperately from the dogtag underneath. With the cross flipped up you can read the scripture engraved into the dogtag. The scripture reads:

“I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified or discouraged; for the lord my god is with me wherever I go.
Joshua 1:9

Some of the items from Skeletal Metal and NightRider are more high end focused, but there is a portion of the MMA fanbase that can bear that market. MMA fans often don’t blink at $50 to $75 t-shirts and $200 jeans from Affliction that are marketed so successfully in their direction, so these jewelry offerings should be able to find a niche in the market.

Straka Profiles Round 5 (Vid)

April 22, 2009

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