British Columbia Bill 50 good for MMA

June 10, 2012

The Province of British Columbia recently passed Bill 50 which would establish a provincial athletic commissioner that would presumably make it easier for the sport of MMA to return to the province.

Vancouver Attorney Jonathan Tweedale spoke to Showdown Joe Ferraro on Sportsnet 590 The Fan about Bill 50.  More info on the interview here via Sportsnet.

The bill was proposed by the Minister of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development in the province, Ida Chong.  She will consult with the local commissions as well as some in the U.S. to come up with a set of MMA rules for the province.

“…[I]t’s not yet law but becomes law by regulation,” said Tweedale.  In its current form, the bill is general but drafting specifics which include requirements of promoters and further rules should occur this summer.  Drafters would consult with the 9 local athletic commissions before the act becomes law. The target date is sometime in the fall for Bill 50 to become law.

Payout Perspective:

The bill should streamline MMA regulation in the province which should appease the UFC and other promotions such as Bellator and the MFC.  Tweedale points out the one negative for MMA fans is that cities will have the right to veto whether MMA occurs in its city.  Still, once Bill 50 becomes law, it should help smaller promotions with putting on shows in the province.  It also should attract the UFC back to Vancouver.  As you may recall, there were issues with the city of Vancouver for UFC 115 and UFC 131. Bill 50 should address these concerns.  Overall, a positive move for MMA in the province.

MFC signs deal with TSN

October 6, 2011

Maximum Fighting Championships has signed a one year deal with Canadian sports network, TSN according to the Edmonton Sun. The article reports that TSN approached MFC owner Mark Pavelich as the network wanted an MMA property for its network.

TSN (The Sports Network) is Canada’s leading English language sports tv channel. It appears that MFC programming will be shown on TSN2. The network is owned by Bell Media (80%) and ESPN (20%).

Via the Edmonton Sun:

“It’ll help corporate sponsorship, it’ll help fighter sponsorship and it’ll help in every direction possible,” said (Mark) Pavelich. “They’ll make more money because I’ll make more money. Now, if you’re fighting in the Maximum Fighting Championship, you’re not just on HDNet in Canada, the US and Mexico, you’re on TSN2 and that’ll spread even more.”

Payout Perspective:

A good deal for the MFC to get its chance in front of a broader audience. As Pavelich points out, it will help garner sponsorships for the MFC and its fighters. It also shows the popularity of MMA is growing as TSN sought out an MMA property for its programming. It will be interesting to know from our Canadian readers about the accessibility of TSN2. Is it carried by most of the cable providers in Canada (it looks like it is) and if so, is it a channel on a higher tier for which you’d have to pay a premium to receive?

MFC-Tapout Energy sign sponsorship deal

August 21, 2011

The MFC announced a sponsorship deal with Tapout Energy drinks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed although the MFC indicated that Tapout Energy would be prominently displayed during its next event October 7th.

Via Mike Whitman at Sherdog.com:

“The MFC has always taken great pride in being an organization that thrives on the support of its outstanding corporate partners,” said MFC owner Mark Pavelich in the official release. “Tapout Energy coming on board with the MFC is unquestionably one of the proudest moments in the history of this company.”

Payout Perspective:

The UFC is not the only MMA organization tha has corporate sponsors. The signing of Canadian energy drink Tapout Energy is good support for one of the better organizations in Canada. Earlier this year, Good 4 U drinks entered into a sponsorship agreement with the MFC. For Tapout, its a good way to market its product to its likely target demo of young males 18-34. Out of curiosity, if anyone has had a Tapout Energy, let us know what you think of it.

MFC to air commercials during Super Bowl

February 6, 2011

While many of us are focusing on football today, those in Canada should keep an eye out for the MFC’s commercial during the Super Bowl.

Via the MFC release:

Fans in Northern Alberta can see the ad while watching the big game on CTV Edmonton. The spot features all the details about the upcoming card on Friday, Feb. 25 at the River Cree Resort and Casino including wicked highlights of light-heavyweight title contenders Dwayne “D-Bomb” Lewis and Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo plus lightweight champ Antonio “Mandingo” McKee and his challenger Drew “Night Rider” Fickett.
 
The commercial will air on CTV Edmonton at approximately 6:15 p.m. MT (near the end of the first half) and again at 7:15 p.m. MT (midway through the third quarter).
 
Get your tickets for MFC 28: Supremacy – they are going fast! Tickets are only available by calling the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 and save at least $12 per ticket by not having to pay any service fees.

Payout Perspective:

Super Bowl commercials have been as popular as the game itself. The MFC is capitalizing on this by investing money in commercials during the game. The commercials are local so none of us in the U.S. will catch them.

Good4U Managing Director talks sponsorship deal with MFC

January 26, 2011

Banned by the UFC, Good4U sport and wellness beverages have entered into a sponsorship deal with Maximum Fighting Championships (MFC). MMA Payout had the opportunity to contact Good4U Managing Director Richard DeBanks about the deal.

Via DeBanks:

“We have signed a 3 fight deal with the Maximum Fighting Championship (mid – high 5 figures). There are several reasons we signed a deal with MFC:

  • They have been probably the most consistent organization after the UFC in terms of putting together solid cards on schedule
  • They attract the highest levels of viewership on HD Net
  • They are running events in the markets that we have already established distribution

We are open to working with any organization that has its house in order, and will be looking for good partnerships in the US and Europe as well.”

DeBanks indicated that UFC star Shane Carwin will continue to endorse Good4U despite not being able to wear the Good4U logo in the Octagon.  DeBanks stated that, “it is business as usual with Shane including photo shoots, posters, point of sale, voice overs, personal appearances etc”

DeBanks added:

“This won’t affect our partnership with Shane Carwin.  Shane is and will be a major asset for us. The logo placement in the UFC is really only a small portion in the overall mix. Gatorade for example doesn’t even have their logo on George St Pierre. Logos on fighters are most important for clothing companies.”

Since the UFC ban, DeBanks is optimistic about the future of MMA sponsorships for Good4U:

“I also think that we are going to see greater interest in other organizations. It is a big world out there and anyone would be foolish to think that all of the best fighters and best fights are all within one company.”

Payout Perspective:

DeBanks had stated that the MFC was a possible target for sponsorship. This made sense since, as DeBanks pointed out in his third bullet point, the MFC is running events in areas where Good4U is established. Consumers will not have any problems identifying Good4U.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the sponsorship deal after the three fight contract.

Maximum Fighting Championships partners with entertainment agency

November 29, 2010

The Canadian-based Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) announced a partnership with entertainment agency S.L. Feldman and Associates (SLFA).

According to Monday’s press release:

“I’m very enthused and optimistic about the partnership with S.L Feldman & Associates”, says Mark Pavelich, Owner/President of MFC. “They bring decades of experience in live events, talent development, marketing and sponsorships to the table and that coupled with the explosive MFC business we envision an extremely successful collaboration.”

Jeff Craib, Senior Vice President at Feldman states, “We’re all very excited for this new joint venture with Mark. The MFC is flourishing, and our collective goal will be to continue to make inroads into further expanding the MFC business and its excellent and growing stable of world class fighters. Justin Sudds, Sr. Agent at Feldman states, “As SLFA continues to expand into many new areas of live entertainment, we’re thrilled to be working with Mark and his strong MFC business.”

Payout Perspective:

This is a positive move for MFC as it attempts to expand beyond its core base of fans. If you have not seen an MFC card, hopefully you can catch one on HD Net or The Fight Network. The fights are entertaining and feature many ex-UFC vets. Although the press release does not indicate any specifics, it will be interesting to see in what capacity SLFA will work with MFC. It could assist with a number of things including TV production, recruiting more talent, live event management and marketing for the MFC.

MMAterial Facts 08/10/10: Legal Battles Heating Up

August 10, 2010

– Akiyama Charges Manager with Embezzlement

– MMA promoter sues over canceled match

– XCAP Proud to have Ryan Couture on Board

– President: Announcement of Shark Fights 13 broadcast plans coming next week

– Bellator sues UFC, alleges “tortious interference of contract” of Jonathan Brookins

Akiyama Charges Manager with Embezzlement

Proving once again that the sharks in MMA swim mostly outside of the ring, Bloodyelbow.com and GotMMA.com have unearthed that Yoshihiro Akiyama once accused his (obviously former) manager of embezzlement. Writing in his autobiography, “Two Souls,” Akiyama claims the unnamed party stole anywhere from hundreds of thousands to a million, representing nearly all of his career earnings. That’s bleak stuff.  (Sherdog)

MMA promoter sues over canceled match

Maximum Fighting Inc. has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation (ECHF) after alleging it suffered losses when the ECHF unilaterally cancelled an agreement for three Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) events to be held at the Winspear.

According to a statement of claim filed July 28, MFC and ECHF entered into a written agreement on Dec. 15, 2009, whereby MFC would be entitled to hold an MFC event at the Winspear on April 9. (Edmonton Sun)

XCAP Proud to have Ryan Couture on Board

Strikeforce officials announced last week that Las Vegas resident Ryan Couture, son of MMA legend Randy Couture, has agreed and signed a multi-fight deal all in which XCAP (Xtreme Couture Athletic Pharmaceutials) is proud to have Ryan  Couture represent the line and wear its colors. (XCAPNEWS)

President: Announcement of Shark Fights 13 broadcast plans coming next week

“One of the great things is that I’ve got great, great investors who are committed,” said Medley, a former pro fighter who owns a 1999 victory over WEC contender Leonard Garcia. “They’re big fight fans themselves. … So I went to them, and we got separate money for this show. I said I want it (the event costs, including fighters salaries) paid for before the event.

“I’m a fight fan then a promoter. … Are we trying to play with the big boys? Is this event going to leverage our company? The answer is no. The event is separate from our day-to-day profile.” (MMAJunkie)

Bellator sues UFC, alleges “tortious interference of contract” of Jonathan Brookins

The legal battle between the Bellator Fighting Championships and the Ultimate Fighting Championship has taken an unexpected turn.

While Zuffa, LLC – the parent company of the UFC – recently filed suit in Nevada against Bellator due to an alleged theft of “trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents,” Bellator officials have now fired back with a suit of their own.  (MMAJunkie)

***

Targeted by Bellator lawsuit, Mickey Dubberly says company’s claims inaccurate

Mickey Dubberly, the CEO of K.O. Dynasty Sports Management has a simple message for Bellator head Bjorn Rebney: Stop lying.

Dubberly and his client, Jonathan Brookins, are among the defendants targeted alongside Zuffa, LLC in a lawsuit filed today by Bellator that claim tortious interference was at play in Brookins’ recent run on “The Ultimate Fighter 12.”  (MMAJunkie)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

Strikeforce Challengers 4-Woman Tournament

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Eye Injury Puts Alan Belcher in Career Jeopardy : “I had a detached retina, I just lost the vision in my right eye. It just happened all of the sudden, pretty much overnight. I was training in Brazil, messing around there for a few days and had surgery the day after I came home. I think it happened in training but I don’t exactly know when. It’s gonna take a couple of months to heal, to be at its peak, so then I’ll know how much my vision comes back.” (MMAFA.TV)

QUICK HITS

  • Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante well-prepared by life lessons for Strikeforce title shot(MMAJunkie)
  • Nick Catone to undergo surgery on re-injured shoulder and back, return date unknown (MMAJunkie)
  • UFC 118 weigh-ins to air live on Spike TV (MMAJunkie)
  • Paul Daley meets Jorge Masvidal at Shark Fights 13 (MMAJunkie)
  • Strikeforce CEO: Fabricio Werdum out until 2011, no opponent set (MMAJunkie)
  • Silva: Submission Was Payback, Injury Layoff Undetermined (Sherdog)
  • Commission: Daley Suspended 30 Days for Koscheck Punch (Sherdog)
  • King Mo Declares Himself Underdog for Title Fight (MMAFighting)
  • Leonardo Santos vs. Sotaro Yamada Announced for SRC 14 (MMAFighting)
  • TRENDING INDICATED BIG PPV NUMBERS FOR UFC 117 (MMAWeekly)
  • STRIKEFORCE WILL HOLD 185 CONTENDERS TOURNEY (MMAWeekly)
  • Bellator Fires Back, Sues UFC Regarding Jonathan Brookins (Heavy)
  • UFC 117: Risks Don’t Outweigh Rewards (Heavy)

TV LISTINGS

  • Bellator 24: Lombard vs Goodman on FSN (08/12/10)
  • HDNet Fights Vault: DREAM at 8:00 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • Fighting Words with Mike Straka (Chael Sonnen) at 8:30 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • Inside MMA (Ben Henderson, Reed Harris, & Chad Mendes) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • HDNet Fights: KOTC: Imminent Danger at 10 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Riggs vs Taylor 11 PM ET on Showtime (08/13/10)

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Bellator 24: Lombard vs Goodman on FSN (08/12/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Riggs vs Taylor 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (08/13/10)
  • HDNet Fights: KOTC: Imminent Danger at 9 PM ET on HDNet (08/13/10)
  • WEC 50: Cruz vs Benavidez at 9 PM ET on Versus (08/18/10)
  • Bellator 25 on FSN (08/19/10)
  • Strikeforce: King Mo vs Rafael Feijao at 10 PM ET/PT on Showtime (08/21/10)
  • Bellator 26 on FSN (08/26/10)
  • HDNet Fights: Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 on HDNet (08/27/10)
  • UFC 118: Edgar vs Penn 2 at 10 PM ET on PPV (08/28/10)
  • Bellator 26 on FSN (09/2/10)
  • UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Belcher at 9 PM ET on SPIKE TV (09/15/10)
  • UFC 119 : Minotauro Nogueira vs Frank Mir 2 at 10 PM ET on PPV (09/25/10)

HDNet and MFC Renew Contract

July 28, 2010

Yesterday, HDNet and the Maximum Fighting Championship officially renewed their partnership with a six-event television distribution contract that will take both companies through to the end of 2011.

The Maximum Fighting Championship will remain a frontrunner in showcasing live mixed martial arts to a massive international audience with a new six-event contract teamed with broadcast partner HDNet.

Since partnering with HDNet in 2008, nine MFC events have been featured live on HDNet Fights, beginning with MFC 15: Rags to Riches and through to the most recent MFC 25: Vindication. During the partnership, viewers from the United States , Canada , and Mexico have tuned in live on HDNet to see the Maximum Fighting Championship and its power-packed lineup of talented fighters.

The newly signed deal, which runs through the end of 2011, includes the fast-approaching MFC 26: Retribution to be held in Westman Place at the Keystone Centre in Brandon , Manitoba , Canada , on Friday, Sept. 10.

“I am even more excited about this new agreement between the Maximum Fighting Championship and HDNet than when we signed our initial partnership,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich, who personally welcomed HDNet Owner and renowned entrepreneur Mark Cuban to the Maximum Fighting Championship at MFC 17.

“We have learned so much since then thanks to our business relationship. We have gone very far in improving our product and we are ready to take things to the next level to become real players on the worldwide stage.”

The Case for Legalization: Quantifying Economic Windfalls

June 19, 2009

By Kelsey Philpott

While I may have argued for a fundamental shift in MMA’s approach to seeking legalization, I’m not naive enough to believe that the economics of the sport do not have a role in the legalization process.

The fact of the matter is it’s simply not enough to preach the virtues of MMA as a sport and expound its comparable safety record to all the public naysayers and fence-sitters. It’s now time to broach the topic of economic windfalls – MMA’s veritable ace in the hole.

We’ve all heard it countless times, “UFC events mean millions for their host communities, governments, and regulatory bodies.” But what does that really mean in layman’s terms and what about non-UFC events?

In order to understand the true economic potential of MMA, you’ve first got to understand the root of MMA’s commercial success: its appeal to the male 18-34 demographic.

It’s a demographic characterized by young people that are just coming into significant quantities of disposable cash. They don’t yet have the types of cash burdens (mortgages, children, retirement plans) that will accompany them later on in life and thus, as a group, their purchasing power is literally unmatched.

And on the strength of this demographic and its purchasing power, MMA has become much more than a sport; it’s become a lifestyle complete with its own vernacular and way of dress. MMA has been able to branch out well beyond its fighting roots and into various other industries – clothing, collectibles, entertainment, and nutrition – to form what is collectively referred to as the MMA industry.

While the UFC may be the only promotion raking in hundreds of millions in yearly revenue, but it’s not the only company within the industry to do so. Tapout, for example, earned nearly $120 million in revenue last year and hopes to make it $250 million this year.

But how do you quantify what all of that means to MMA’s host communities?

You first have to acknowledge that the size of the economic windfall to any host community isn’t just going to depend on the size and calibre of the event, but also the size of the community itself. In other words, a UFC event in Toronto is going to create a much greater windfall than a regional show in London, Ontario.

In regards to windfalls, the greatest strength of the UFC is that its shows have the ability to increase tourism for a certain community: anywhere between 40% and 70% of the patrons at UFC events are from out of town. If you consider that the UFC could easily sell-out either of the 20,000 seat arenas in Toronto or New York City, for example, that means anywhere from 8,000 to 14,000 in attendance would be using local public transportation, local restaurants, local hotels, local shopping malls, and local nightclubs for an average of two days during that UFC event.

If the average amount that each individual spends during that weekend is $500, the economic windfall from that one UFC event is likely to be in between $4 million and $7 million. If you bump that average up to $1,000 over two days – which is certainly possible given the natural inflation seen in bigger markets like T.O. and NYC or the sheer number of things to do in both cities – the economic spinoff fits into the range of $8 to $14 million.

Further consider the percentage of  the crowd (30%-60%) that consists of local fans – all of whom are also spending money on public transport, restaurants, and bars – and the economic windfall to surrounding business and local governments becomes even larger.

However, MMA is much greater than its flagship promotion and there are countless other organizations out there just chomping at the bit to get into areas like Ontario or New York – all of whom would also make significant contributions to local economies.

I know that Canada’s largest promotion, the Maximum Fighting Championship, is already in talks with several Ontario-based casinos – in cities like Windsor, Hamilton, and London – about the prospects of hosting MMA events in the province should the sport be legalized. Mark Pavelich runs a tight ship in Edmonton and has a great deal of experience that he could quite easily parlay into a successful Ontario venture if given the opportunity. I’d also expect a slew of start-ups in Ontario the minute they open for business.

The same can also be said for any number of promotions in the US that would all take a hard look at the state of New York – cities like Buffalo, Albany, Rochester, and Syracuse, in addition to the Big Apple – as locations for their shows.

In cases such as these, the windfalls to local communities are smaller but not insignificant. Some of the venues at these proposed sites could hold anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people and that’s a legitimate amount of money (even if each person only spends $50 that evening).

(I encourage anyone interested in further exploring the economic potential of MMA events to check out this detailed impact study.)

The Argument from Community Development

MMA events, big and small, also do their part to help stir up the demand for infrastructure necessary to revitalize local communities.

It’s simply a numbers issue whereby venue managers have an additional booking option at their disposal in order to increase patronage. Those booking options can then create further demand and community support for re-investment in infrastructure that can go a long way towards propping up local businesses. I’ve seen this type of development in many places, including my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In Winnipeg, the demand for a new entertainment facility was so great that the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg combined to build the new MTS Centre downtown. It’s a state of the art facility that’s now host to several world class events on a monthly basis – Coldplay and The Offspring this week alone.

And the effect the MTS Centre has had on the surrounding restaurants, bars, and shopping malls has been tremendous. It’s helped to pick up a previously forgotten and very much downtrodden area of Winnipeg, while also fighting back against a bit of the urban sprawl that has plagued the city for years.

The Argument from Competition

And it’s not just that Ontario and New York are currently going without these economic windfalls and development stimulants, but also that they’re passing them onto their competitors.

Toronto and New York consider themselves legitimate players on the international stage, yet they’re ceding these tremendous opportunities to other world-class cities like Los Angeles, London, Dublin, and Tokyo that have all legalized the sport.

Knowing the international stage as the very cut throat and competitive environment that it is, neither city can afford to fall behind the rest of the world. The same argument could also easily be made from a national perspective.

Conclusion on the Case for Legalization

It’s very important for the MMA community to establish the sport’s legitimacy and safety record before further arguing its case with economic incentives.

I say this because no one likes to feel as though they’ve been bought or forced to sacrifice their morality. Feelings of this nature are certainly a breeding ground for the resentment, negativity, and the perpetuation of falsehoods that MMA fights on a daily basis.

Moreover, why should MMA have to buy its way into any state, province, or country? The integrity of the sport should demand acceptance, not a purchased tolerance.  

However, as I’ve illustrated, there is a definite place for arguments based upon the economic windfalls in the case for MMA’s legalization. These are arguments that need to be better explained and quantified before they can be exploited to their full use.

MFC 21 Salary, Gate Info

May 30, 2009

MMACanada.net has the information on attendance, gate, and select salaries for the recent Maximum Fighting Championship MFC 21 card:

The attendance totaled a sold-out crowd of 2250 spectators plus another 1000 who were stationed in the River Cree casino.
Gate: $ 212,550

Bobby Lashley earned $30,000.
Mike Cook earned $4,000.

Trevor Prangley earned $14,000 for his win over Emanuel Newton
Emanuel Newton $7,000 His Win Bonus would have been another $7,000

Marvin “Beastman” Eastman $7,000
John Alessio $6,000

“Submission of the night” award went to John Alessio. The bonus totaled $1,000.

“Knockout of the night” was awarded to Dwayne Lewis.

It is interesting to take a look at the numbers for MFC. They are a mid-level promotion at this point with an eye towards continued growth and expansion. The gate figures are good, owing a large part to MFC’s deal with the River Cree Resort. Shows like this are usually “sold shows”, which helps a lot towards viability and profitability. The MFC looks to have a paid a bit of a premium over their normal salary range to bring in Bobby Lashley, but the press they received from the former WWE champ would seem to make it a good investment.

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