MacDonald Inks Round 5 Deal

April 15, 2009

The Fight Network has the info on Jason MacDonald signing a figurine deal with Round 5:

Pavelich Sports Entertainment is pleased to announce that Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald has signed a deal with toy manufacturer Round 5 MMA to create his very own action figure.

MacDonald, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, will now join a very exclusive and elite group of fighters that have all collaborated with Round 5 to produce some of the most detailed and unique MMA action figures in the world.

“Since we are based in Ontario, I am particularly excited that Jason MacDonald is the first Canadian to sign with Round 5,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 President and Co-Founder. “He is one of the most successful and popular MMA stars in the country and enjoys a strong following across North America.”

It is interesting that Round 5 is now reaching into the mid-tier level with their signings. The initial signings have been high profile: Couture, Matt Hughes, Wanderlei, Rampage, etc. When looking at the mid tier fighters, Round 5 may look to hit those fighters that have some degree of tenure with the UFC, giving them name recognition if not superstar status. Other factors like being a regional draw (MacDonald’s Canadian roots) may also be taken into consideration. The vast majority of signings so far have been UFC related (with Gina Carano being the exception), but with Strikeforce seemingly a stable force in the industry, this may be another avenue to explore for Round 5.

Carano Inks Round 5 Figurine Deal

February 24, 2009

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada, February 24, 2009 – Known to many as the “face of female mixed martial arts,” Gina “Conviction” Carano has parlayed great ability in the cage and a glamorous look out of it to burst onto the MMA scene and in many ways transcended the sport. Now, the unbeaten star has announced she will be working with Round 5, the leader in collectible MMA figurines, to produce a figure that reflects her stardom. Carano joins an All-Star lineup of 13 MMA standouts who currently work with Round 5.

Carano, 26, gained notice for her success in the cage and has earned additional attention with appearances as “Crush” on the NBC television series “American Gladiators” and by serving as a mentor/coach on the Oxygen network series “Fight Girls.” She is also in many ways a pioneer in women’s MMA, competing in the first-ever sanctioned bout in Nevada in September 2006 and in the first female bout (boxing or MMA) on the Showtime Network in February 2007. She currently owns a 7-0 record in MMA competition.

“Gina Carano has emerged as a star, not just in MMA but in the mainstream,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 President. “As the first female in the Round 5 line, we expect her figurine to be popular among the sport’s enthusiasts as well as those who have seen her on TV or in magazines.”
“I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of so many wonderful opportunities and to now be included in Round 5’s line up of gifted fighters is another exciting privilege,” said Carano. “When I was a little girl my dad always joked about making a ‘Gina doll’ and I smile when I think it has become a reality. It is both humbling and invigorating to consider this is just the beginning with so many other gifted women whose figurines are yet to be made.”

The Carano figurine is tentatively scheduled to be released as part of Series 4, which is planned for a summer 2009 release. As in the earlier Series, Carano will maintain creative control of her likeness, including the pose, facial design and shorts. She will have a major hand in creating the final design and will benefit from a royalty agreement that gives her a considerable portion of the proceeds from the sale of her unit.

Round 5 has announced partnerships with 13 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 April, featuring Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski, “Big John” McCarthy, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. International superstar Fedor Emelianenko has also signed on and will be in a future Series in 2009.

Round 5 collectible figures may be purchased at leading retailers such as Toys ‘R’ Us (Canada), Champs Sports and FYE. Other retailers can be found at www.Round5MMA.com/wheretobuy.php.

In addition to Carano, Round 5 plans to release collectibles of three more series of athletes in 2009, one during each quarter. Other athletes to be represented in those series are yet to be announced.

Fight Biz Quote: 1995 American League Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova

February 19, 2009

Skeletal Metal produces roughly 50 items, including exclusive Ultimate Fighting Championship-themed pieces, a relationship forged through Cordova and Bonifazio’s long-time friendship with UFC President Dana White. White is also a Gorman graduate.

The items have been promoted on the UFC Web site’s home page, which attracts about 45 million page views per month, Cordova said.

“That type of exposure is incredible,” Bonifazio said. “It’s like getting a small book published and then getting it put in Oprah’s book club. It’s just a different level of exposure having guys like Dana and (former UFC light-heavyweight champion) Forrest Griffin wearing your items.”

–1995 American League Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova, talking with the Las Vegas Sun, commenting on the huge impact the UFC machine can have when it gets behind your product. I’d be interested to know if the UFC has an equity stake in Skeletal Metal?

Wallfighters: Fun for Fans, Finances The Fighters

January 28, 2009

wallfighters-large-ad


As the popularity of MMA continues to show rapid growth, new and exciting opportunities are opening up for fighters all the time to expand their financial and business empires. One of the newest avenues for this is the wall decal company Wallfighters.

Wallfighters is launched as a division of Wowsportz, which specializes in personalized sports-related merchandise. The main focus up until now has been specialized items for teams on the club and local level but the company was looking to make a larger play. Enter Greg DeLong. Delong had prior experience in the MMA field, as host of his own MMA-related radio show Insidethecagetalk.com, and explained to the higher-ups at Wowsportz what a growth field MMA is the opportunities to be had. Delong did market research into the wall mounted vinyl decals, widely popularized by Fathead. DeLong saw an opportunity there for Wowsportz, as Fathead had expressed no interest in expanding beyond their core stick and ball sports. MMA was selected as Wowsportz’s first mass market play and the merchandise was dubbed Wallfighters, (http://www.wallfighters.com/).

Wallfighters has assembled a stable of fighters quickly with Urijah Faber, Scott Smith, Mark Munoz, Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, James Irvin, Chael Sonnen, Brandon Vera, Diego Sanchez, and Tara LaRosa among those that have signed deals with the fledgling company. The main selling point of the company has been the ability “to make money while you are sitting at home”, which is enticing for those in such a grueling profession as MMA. Another reason fighters have been signing on has been the generous endorsement fee the fighter receives from the sale of each of his Wallfighter decals. DeLong stated, “We want to make money with the fighter, not off the fighter.” The Wallfighter deal along with similar deals like those of figurine maker Round 5 that provide an equitable sharing of profits is enticing to the fighter who is willing to take control of his own merchandising destiny.

Wallfighters has a good size stable of endorsers, but is still in the stage of bringing in athletes to endorse. The main strategy thus far has been to work with agents/managers to bring in the athletes. Clients of NCFC and MMA Fighter Management Inc (Urijah Faber’s Mgmt Team) have made up the bulk of the signees so far but talks with a wide range of camps are taking place as we speak and the roster of Wallfighters looks to be growing often.

Wallfighters will have two main vehicles of distribution initially. They will be sold through the company website, at Wallfighters.com, and also through the fighter’s and/or management company’s website store. Wallfighters’ branding efforts and the popularity of the fighter will both help to drive sales.

You can purchase your own Wallfighter by visiting their website

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If you are a fighter/manager and would like more information on Wallfighters, or a member of the media and would like to do a piece on Wallfighters, please contact:

Greg DeLong
Director Of Marketing
WOW Sportz Wall Fighters
www.wallfighters.com

greg@wowsportz.com
775-232-7731

Fedor Signs On With Round 5

January 22, 2009

FEDOR IN ACTION: M-1 GLOBAL’S EMELIANENKO PARTNERS WITH ROUND 5 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS FIGURINES

One of World’s Most Popular MMA Athletes Latest Star To Sign On To Create Collectible

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada, January 22, 2009—Known across the world and considered by many to be the best fighter in the sport of mixed martial arts today, Russian star Fedor Emelianenko of M-1 Global has partnered with Round 5, the leader in collectible MMA figurines, to create a piece to be made available later this year. The heavyweight joins an All-Star lineup of 12 MMA standouts who currently work with Round 5 to produce their respective figures.

The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s notice that stars Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski – Fedor’s opponent in this Saturday’s Affliction “Day of Reckoning” event – will be one of four stars to be featured in Round 5’s Series 3 release this spring, along with “Big John” McCarthy, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. Series 3 is scheduled to be available at retail outlets throughout North America and online at www.Round5MMA.com beginning in April.

Fedor and the Round 5 team will begin work on creating his figurine in the coming weeks. The Fedor figures will be part of a future Series issue to be determined.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me,” said Emelianenko. “I am looking forward to going through the process of making this the best figurine that we can. I think fans will appreciate that I will have a big role in how it looks and will enjoy the final product.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Fedor to customize this superstar’s figurine,” said Damon Lau, Round 5 President. “His worldwide popularity and recognition as the world’s best mixed martial artist make him a natural to make a high-quality collectible that his many fans can enjoy. The timing of his signing is perfect, too, as he will be competing in the highly-anticipated bout with another Round 5 athlete in Andrei Arlovski this weekend.”

Emelianenko, 32, has been the most dominant MMA heavyweight this decade. He enters the bout with Arlovski with a record of 28-1, including 25 straight victories dating back to December 2000. A long-time PRIDE champion, he won his Affliction debut by submitting Tim Sylvia just 36 seconds into the first round in his last action this past July.

Other MMA stars who have worked with Round 5 include Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Tito Ortiz (Series 1); and Rich Franklin, Sean Sherk, Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva (Series 2).

As in the earlier Series, Fedor will maintain creative control of his likenesses, including the pose, facial design and shorts. He will have a major hand in creating the final design and will benefit from a royalty agreement that gives him a considerable portion of the proceeds from the sale of his unit.

Round 5 collectible figures may be purchased at leading retailers such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Champs Sports and FYE. Other retailers can be found at www.Round5MMA.com/wheretobuy.php.

In addition to Fedor, Round 5 plans to release collectibles of three additional series of athletes in 2009, one during each quarter. Other athletes to be represented in those series are yet to be announced.

GSP In Donruss Sports Legends Series

December 18, 2008

Following on the heels of his involvement in the Topps UFC card set due for a January 2009 release, UFC Welterweight champion Georges St Pierre will also be included in the Sports Legend Series being issued by Donruss. The Sports legend series just recently hit the market, being released on December 12th.

GSP was also included in the earlier Ring Kings set from Donruss. It should be interesting to see what kind of exclusivity agreements are in the deal with Topps, and whether athletes will still be able to cut deals on their own like with Upper Deck and Donruss. GSP’s inclusion in this set likely marks a pre-existing contract, so it may not be the best indicator to the future availability of guys to sign side marketing deals.

Wanderlei Silva to attend signing in Vegas this Saturday.

November 13, 2008

MMA legend Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva will be appearing at the Memorabilia Musuem (inside Mandalay Bay) Las Vegas on November 15 to autograph the new limited edition art prints by renowned artist Richard T. Slone.

In order to meet Silva, fans can purchase the limited edition art print that guarantees a place in line during the signing on Saturday. The artwork is Slone’s latest MMA piece in a series that also includes Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture and Rich “Ace” Franklin.

The art print is limited to only 500 worldwide and features Silva in his famous pre-fight fist roll with eyes locked on the viewer. Slone is known to many fight fans as the Official Artist of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and is nominated for 2009 Sports Artist of the Year. Wanderlei Silva is an MMA legend, a multi time champion and one of the most popular fighters in the history of the sport.

WHAT: MMA Legend Wanderlei Silva unveiling and signing event of Richard T. Slone new ‘Axe Murderer’ limited edition art.

WHEN: Saturday, November 15, 2008. 12-2:30PM

WHERE: Memorabilia Museum, (inside Mandalay Bay) 3950 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas , Nevada

WHO: MMA Legend Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva, renowned artist Richard T. Slone, Xyience.

Fans that can’t make the event can call the Memorabilia Museum to reserve and buy through the mail at 702.632.6138

UFC Signs Card Deal With Topps

October 11, 2008

The American Chronicle announces a deal between the UFC and card maker Topps. The deal comes on the heels of other cardmakers to make a play for the MMA market. Other recent deals include the Ring Kings card set from Donruss, and an offering of MMA cards from Upper Deck. More details on the UFC-Topps deal:

The Topps Company, best known as a creator and marketer of sports and related trading cards from the ranks of baseball, football, basketball and hockey, has joined forces with The Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC, the world´s leading professional mixed martial arts organization, has agreed to give Topps exclusive rights to produce UFC brand trading cards featuring current, future and former UFC athletes. The deal lasts through May 2011 for UFC trading cards and stickers.

“We are excited to be working with Topps to showcase our incredible athletes on UFC trading cards,” said Dana White, UFC President. “We look forward to having great success with Topps, and to giving UFC fans a product they can collect and trade with other fans of our sport.”

The UFC trading cards will launch in early 2009.

Donruss Announces Red Alert Trading Cards

September 22, 2008

Exclusive Red Alert 3 Trading Cards Featuring MMA Superstars Randy Couture and Gina Carano

Free With Pre-Order of Red Alert 3 on Xbox 360

Available now at GameStop, pre-order your copy of Red Alert 3 for Xbox 360, and you’ll receive two limited edition Donruss Red Alert 3 trading cards when you pick up your game. These awesome cards from the trading card industry’s leading manufacturer, Donruss, feature two of the biggest stars from the world of Mixed Martial Arts, UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy “The Natural” Couture as Allied Commander Warren Fuller, and undefeated EliteXC superstar Gina “Conviction” Carano as the deadly Soviet Commando Natasha. These cards will only be available at GameStop stores nationwide and online, while supplies last.

“We have done several promotions over the past two years with EA, exposing their audience to trading card collecting,” said Carl Braun, Director of Games for Donruss. “It’s obvious that a very high percentage of trading card collectors play video games but we also know the video game player is an ideal trading card collector. With Command & Conquer Red Alert 3, one this year’s biggest releases, and MMA being the fastest growing sport in the world, this was a great way to work with EA again to bring collectors closer to Gina Carano, Randy Couture, and Command & Conquer.

Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 ships this fall on PC and Xbox 360. Mr. Couture and Ms. Carano will star in the Command & Conquer franchise’s trademark live-action movie sequences, alongside a diverse group that includes a host of award-winning actors, action stars, science fiction legends, up-and-coming starlets from around the globe and mixed martial arts fighters.

The cast of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 follows (in alphabetical order by last name): Gemma Atkinson (the UK’s Hollyoaks), Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunt for Red October), Andrew Divoff (LOST), Kelly Hu (X2, The Scorpion King), Jenny McCarthy (Scream 3, former Playboy Playmate of the Year), Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale), Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean), J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Juno, Burn After Reading), Autumn Reeser (The OC, Valentine), Peter Stormare (Prison Break, Armageddon), George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes), and two of the most recognizable names in competitive mixed martial arts Randy “The Natural” Couture (former UFC Heavyweight champion) and Gina “Conviction” Carano (Undefeated Elite XC fighter, American Gladiators).

The Donruss Trading Card Company is a leading manufacturer of sports and entertainment trading cards, produced under the Donruss, Playoff, Leaf, Score and Americana brand names. As the second oldest trading card company, Donruss has established a well-deserved reputation in the realm of sports collectibles. Donruss is known for pioneering the Rookie Card phenomenon and manufacturing the finest, high-end trading cards available at any price.

IMMAE Targets AZ For Community MMA Expo

September 10, 2008

September 8, 2008 – Arizona has been the home to loyal mixed martial arts fans and dedicated fighters since the dawn of this recent era. Its rapid increase in a hardcore fan base and growth of several training facilities and gyms, only proves that the city of Chandler is well-deserving of the first Community Level IMMAE show. IMMAE is best known for exclusively hosting the largest MMA expos in the world at an annual event currently held once a year at the Long Beach Convention Center. The national and international demand for IMMAE branded events has spurred the company to create what it calls a gloabl exposition network of qualified event promoters. Through this network of hand picked licensees IMMAE plans to project its brand name across the globe.

IMMAE and Apocalypse Productions have teamed up to bring Chandler, AZ a heavy-hitting weekend of MMA Fights, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing, Submission Grappling Tournaments and Seminars with MMA’s top fighters. A charity auction will take place to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Vendors from Arizona and several other states are coming together for this event to mark IMMAE’s first expostion in the Grand Canyon State. This historical event will be the first of its kind to come to the MMA public of Arizona. The event will be held on October 11th and 12th, 2008 at Rawhide Wild Horse Pass Rodeo Fairgrounds at 5700 W Loop Rd. Chandler, AZ 85226.

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