Update on Xyience Chapter 11 Bankruptcy case

November 9, 2011

Some interesting movement in the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy case of sport drink manufacturer Xyience. Last week, Forbes reported that Fertitta Enterprises was sanctioned by the Bankruptcy Court in Nevada for failing to provide certain information previously requested by the Bankruptcy trustee.

The sanctions stem from Fertitta Enterprises’ failure to provide e-mails from its chief financial officer which claim that it orchestrated the funding for Xyience during its bankruptcy proceedings. In addition to the sanctions, a motion for summary judgment has been filed by the trustee seeking an order that the Fertittas pay back over $945,000 and that Zyen, LLC does not have a security interest in Xyience assets.

Zyen, LLC loaned $12 million to Xyience in December 2007. The loan was secured by all assets of Xyience. Zyen, LLC was controlled by the Fertittas. The trustee alleges that this is a “loan to own” scheme. It occurs when a distressed entity must borrow money which it cannot repay and default is assured. The loan is secured by the assets of the entity so the lender will be able to foreclose and end up owning it.

Via The Las Vegas Review Journal:

…Chicago-based trustee David Herzog contends that the $12 million that Fertitta entities loaned Xyience in 2007 as it faltered financially came with such heavy-handed terms that it scared off potential buyers. As such, he (the trustee) will try to recoup damages that could lead to “potentially significant recoveries,” as described in court papers, at a trial now scheduled to start next spring.

Via Forbes.com:

In an Oct. 28 order, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King held that William Bullard, the chief financial officer of Fertitta Enterprises and a manager of Xyience, failed to comply with discovery requests for documents related to the company’s bankruptcy.

In addition to Bullard’s role with Fertitta Enterprises and Xyience, he is CEO of the Gordon Biersch Brewery/Restaurant chain. It is on the Gordon Biersch computer system where e-mails were found related to the Xyience bankruptcy.

More from Forbes.com:

The bankruptcy trustee lawyer, which oversaw the disposition of the 2008 Xyience bankruptcy, accused executives from Fertitta Enterprises of lying about the existence of e-mails which would have detailed how Fertitta Enterprises took control of Xyience with a $12 million loan.

Those documents include an e-mail to Lorenzo Fertitta one day before his firm lent the $12 million to Xyience, disclosing a potential $150 million buyout offer from Cott Corp. The buyout could have allowed Xyience to repay investors, who instead lost everything when the company defaulted and the Fertittas seized its assets.

In addition, the day that the Fertittas lent Xyience $12 million, it paid their Zuffa Marketing $4.5 million and paid another $1 million to Fertitta Enterprises.

The bankruptcy trustee filed a summary judgment motion seeking an order on two of the causes of action in its case against Fertita Enterprises and Zyen, LLC. The trustee is seeking an order which asks the court to order Fertitta Enterprises to pay the trustee in excess of $945,000 as a result of the alleged “loan to own” scheme. In addition, the trustee seeks to avoid the security interest granted Zyen, LLC in the transaction with Xyience. Thus, the trustee would not have to repay Zyen, LLC first if it receives money to distribute to creditors. A hearing on the motion for summary judgment will be heard on December 9th.

We will continue to monitor the case as it develops and report on any other court filings.

Since the initial bankruptcy, Xyience’s assets were purchased in a Chapter 11 proceeding and is one of the UFC sponsors. The current Xyience company has no relation to the bankruptcy proceedings.

Mir signs sponsorship with Xyience

September 28, 2011

UFC Heavyweight Frank Mir has signed a sponsorship deal with UFC’s official energy drink maker Xyience. Mir will be a brand ambassador for Xyience through 2012.

Via Xyience press release:

Like XYIENCE, Mir is based in Las Vegas and will be a key component of the brand’s marketing initiatives throughout the Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions. The endorsement deal also includes a series of personal appearances at key MMA and beverage trade events throughout the United States, as well as the use of Mir’s image on the brand’s website and in its advertising campaign.

Payout Perspective:

I’ve always thought Mir to be an articulate and affable guy from his days as an WEC commentator. This will help him as brand ambassador during personal appearances for the company. The partnership makes sense considering Mir and Xyience are based out of Vegas and Mir is a known persona in the area.

Xyience introduces Jones collector can, advises not to mix with alcohol

July 19, 2011

Xyience, the official energy drink of the UFC, announced the launch of its second in a series of its collector cans, this time featuring light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones. In addition, the back of the can will caution that the drink not be mixed with alcohol.

Via Xyience:

XYIENCE’s powerful affiliation with the UFC is a contributing factor to its year over year sales growth that checks in at a more than 38 percent increase. John Lennon, XYIENCE’s president, says that approximately half of that growth is due to the expansion of XYIENCE’s distribution network.  “The strength of our partnership with the UFC and its athletes, like Jones, has had a favorable impact on our sales,” says Lennon. The full-size energy drink category is up 13.4 percent in the past 52 week period, ending May 15.

Along with Jones’ image, XYIENCE has made another addition to its packaging, one that it feels will further validate its position as the energy drink of choice for athletes and active adults. “We are including a recommendation on the back of the can advising consumers not to mix Xenergy with alcohol,” Lennon says.

Lennon goes on to explain that unlike some of its competitors, who specifically target teenage energy drinkers, XYIENCE is reaching out to a different demographic. “XYIENCE targets a young, upscale adult consumer leading a healthy active lifestyle, and Xenergy supports his or her way of life in a very authentic way. It is sugar- and calorie-free, with a moderate amount of caffeine- as much as a cup of coffee,” Lennon says. “So its sustained energy without the calories.”

The collector cans will be available September 1, 2011.

Payout Perspective:

An interesting strategy by Xyience to distance itself from the recreational drinker (Red Bull and vodka anyone?) and focus on the young, active adult. It markets itself as the “pick me up for the health club.” Perhaps not the pick up drink at the night club. Indirectly, it is a public service announcement warning against drinking. Of course, there will be those that will try Xyience with Vodka(or alcohol of choice) just because.

[UPDATE] Another reason why Xyience may have included its recommendation is to distinguish its brand from Four Loko, a controversial energy drink that has been banned in states and is receiving scrutiny in others for the potential health risks associated with the drink. Xyience’s recommendation on the can may also ward off any potential investigation by state AGs that may group the energy drinks together.

It appears that the Xyience-UFC relationship has helped Xyience sales and the growing popularity of the UFC and its stars like Jones can only mean continued growth for Xyience.

UFC 131: Payout Perspective

June 12, 2011

Welcome to another edition of UFC 131’s Payout Perspective. This time the UFC made its way north to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In the main event Junior dos Santos retained his #1 contender spot by pummeling Shane Carwin.

JDS beats Carwin, Cain next

Junior dos Santos soundly defeated Shane Carwin to retain his number 1 contender spot and is set for Heavyweight Champ Cain Velasquez. Carwin was battered and bloodied in the first and had no answer for JDS. Even with the loss, Carwin should remain in the top tier of the division considering the status of Brock Lesnar. Bare in mind, Carwin, coming off of an injury, stepped in for Lesnar and was slated to fight Jon Olav Einemo – a more of a warm up fight compared to JDS.

JDS vs. Cain this fall. It should be good.

K-Flo defeats Nunes, Aldo next?

Give it up to Kenny Florian for 1) dropping over 30lbs to fights at Featherweight and 2) wearing a Boston Bruins jersey in Canuck country at the weigh-ins. And yes, an impressive victory over Diego Nunes.

It was less than a year ago that Dana White labeled Florian as someone that “chokes in the big fights.” That was after a loss to Gray Maynard. Now, K-Flo appears to be the next in line for Jose Aldo.

Munoz defeats Maia

30-27? Probably the most perplexing score of the night.  I thought the judges had monitors to help them. Despite an improved standup game and an almost submission in round 2, Mark Munoz defeated Damian Maia.  The win propels Munoz into a potential #1 contender match with Brian Stann.

Attendance and Gate

Although it did not do as well as last year’s appearance in Vancouver the UFC had a solid attendance of 14,685 for a gate of $2.8 million (h/t MMA Junkie). UFC 115 last June had 17,669 fans in attendance for a gate of over $4.2 million.

Notably, UFC 115 had 550K buys. That was with a main event of Franklin-Liddell. Two popular fighters in the UFC. Ironically, you may recall that the card initially was Liddell-Ortiz III but had to be scrapped due to an injury to Ortiz.

Bonuses

MMA Fighting reports the bonuses for UFC 131. Each fighter received $70K.

Knockout of the Night: Sam Stout.  Stout’s left hook flush on Yves Edwards’ chin could be the KO of the year.

Submission fo the Night: Chris Weidman. Its rare to see a standing guillotine choke but Weidman saw the opening an executed it perfectly.

Fight of the Night: Dave Herman and Jon Olav Einemo. A back and forth fight with Herman looking in trouble numerous times before getting the KO.

Sponsorhips

The Octagon had Bud Light in the center and the mats and ringposts had MMA Elite, Xyience, MusclePharm, Jobbi.com, Tapout and the new UFC Peronal Trainer game coming out later this month. Dodge sponsored the Tale of the Tape.

Buy My Shorts.com – I noticed this at the weigh-ins with Dave Herman wearing the logo on the front of his shorts. At first, I thought it was Herman’s way of asking for a sponsor. But, its actually a web site that appears to sell fight worn shorts.

Xyience – Mark Munoz and Krzysztof Soszynski were new sponsored athletes of the company. Munoz was also sponsored by Toyo Tires.

In addition to having the center of the Octagon, Shane Carwin was sponsored by Bud Light. Although not on his shorts, Carwin had a commercial spot for UFC-banned sponsor, sports drink Good4U the day before during Inside MMA on HDNet. It wasn’t the best comeback fight for Carwin, but he had a tough opponent. As we stated, Carwin is still near the top of the Heavyweight title picture and his sponsors will stick with him.

Hockey over MMA

The Vancouver Sun noted that while the UFC is usually the top draw in each city it goes to, it would not be the top sports story in Vancouver due to the Stanley Cup Final. As a result, ticket sales were slow and it was not a sellout with many hockey-crazed fans opting to spend their sports dollars on the Canucks. Compared to last year’s event where the tickets sold out in 30 minutes, the ticket sales were disappointing. The UFC put a positive spin on the situation recognizing the fact that while Canada is fond of MMA, it loves Hockey.

Post-UFC 131 Headlines

JDS vs. Cain: This should be a very entertaining fight between the division’s top two fighters. Odds appear to favor the challenger although it is early.

Munoz one fight away from title shot? Dana White was noncommital about Munoz next fight or whether the next fight would be a #1 contender fight. Many believe a showdown with Brian Stann will determine the next challenger to the Middleweight crown.

Florian impressive at 145. A lot of questions surrounded the weight cut, but Florian did not look emaciated in his new weight division. As a result, he is in line for a title shot against Jose Aldo. This fight should be booked as it would highlight the lighter weight division. Florian is a known name for UFC fans dating back to TUF 1 and it would garner recognition for the Featherweight division.

PPV Buy Estimates

Estimates pre-event for UFC 131 had many believing that it would garner somewhere between 300K-450K buys according to a poll on the Wrestling Observer (subscription required). In comparison, UFC 130 is estimated to have had between 300K -325K buys (h/t Wrestling Observer) . Last year’s Vancouver event, UFC 115, garnered 550K PPV buys. We note that all three of these had retooled main events. UFC 131 probably suffers the most from the change in the main event due to the loss of Brock Lesnar. While Carwin is a capable replacement, he does not have the appeal as Lesnar.

Odds and Ends

-This was the first event where fans could watch fights on YouTube. Now, fans can watch on Facebook and YouTube online before switching over to SpikeTV and then the PPV.

-Michihiro Omigawa will receive his win bonus according to Dana White’s twitter. In a fight on Facebook, Omigawa lost a controversial decision to Darren Elkins.

-Donald Cerrone affixed SafeAuto Insurance logos on each side of his cowboy hat. Talk about sponsor placement.

-The weigh-ins were held at the most picturesque place its ever been held.  A good call for the UFC to have them outside overlooking the water.

-Speaking of the weigh-ins, Joe Rogan wore a Canuck shirt and Diego Nunes a jersey to get the fans behind them. Kenny Florian, in a move done by most heels, wore a Boston Bruins jersey. Not without precedent, he wore a Celtic jersey last year in Boston.

-June is now 1 for 2 for retaining #1 contender spots. JDS retained his. Anthony Pettis lost his.

Xyience supplements hit GNC stores in Canada

March 10, 2011

General Nutrion Centers (GNC) is boosting the retail presence of Xyience in its 171 stores across Canada. The official energy drink of the UFC, Xyience is promoting its supplements in addition to its energy dring in preparation  for UFC 129 in Toronto.

Via Xyience press release:

XYPRO is XYIENCE’s advanced protein complex product and XYMASS is a high performance lean mass gainer that’s a blend of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats. Both are available in chocolate and vanilla flavors. The addition of these supplements in GNC builds XYIENCE’s in-store presence; GNC also carries XYIENCE’s Xenergy Premium and Xenergy Xtreme energy drinks. In Canada, Nutrition Club distributes XYIENCE supplements exclusively.

Payout Perspective:

This move is an example of the importance of the Canadian market. This week the UFC and Rogers Sportsnet entered into a four year broadcast agreement. The UFC also pushed up the PPV time for the big UFC 129 card to likely accomodate big east coast cities in Canada. In addition, UFC 129 in Toronto should see record attendance, gate and PPV buys. Smart move by Xyience in capitalizing on this.

UFC 126: Payout Perspective

February 8, 2011

Welcome to another addition of Payout Perspective. Today we look at UFC 126 held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Super Bowl weekend show featured a trio of fights: the much-anticipated Anderson Silva facing Vito Belfort, Forrest Griffin taking on Rich Franklin and Jon “Bones” Jones faced Ryan Bader.

Silva KOs Belfort

After an intense weigh-in face off where both fighters had to be restrained, the fight ended abruptly as Silva’s front kick to Belfort’s chin stunned “The Phenom.” A couple shots on the ground by Silva ended the evening in the first round. Although he credits Steven Seagal for teaching him the kick, the Spider is still pretty good.

Next up for Silva is a potential superfight with GSP. Certainly everyone, except Yushin Okami, would like to see it next. As we’ve talked about, a GSP-Silva fight could surpass 1.6 million PPV buys. The anticipated fight should have an international appeal and it will be interesting where the UFC will have the fight. Look for this fight to happen in December.

Griffin beats Franklin

In a fight between fan favorites, Forrest Griffin fought off the Octagon rust to beat Rich Franklin. In the post-fight interview,  Joe Rogan helped Griffin “push product” as Griffin put it, by plugging Griffin’s two books. Unfortunately for Griffin, MMA Junkie reports that he is out until August with a foot injury unless he is cleared by a doctor. It will be interesting what Franklin will do next. He is still a quality fighter but his future may not be in the Light Heavyweight division. If Anderson Silva decides to leave the middleweight division, I could see Franklin moving back in.

 Jones submits Bader, earns title shot

Jon Jones submitted Ryan Bader in the second round and leapfrogged into a title match versus Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. With Rashard Evans out with a knee injury, and Rampage Jackson not ready for the shot, the UFC decided to give it to Jones. The announcement came via Rogan in the post-match interview. A good ploy by the UFC as you got to see Jones’ reaction as he first heard he was getting the shot. Even though Jones is getting the shot on relative short notice, Rua cannot be happy with the matchup especially since he will be facing a Pro-Jones crowd in New Jersey. Only Matt Serra had it worse for a title defense.

The Rua-Jones fight should bolster ticket sales and PPV buys. Not only is Jones’ popularity at a high, the native New Yorker will get home field advantage in Newark, New Jersey.  Obviously, the UFC is playing up the local ties and hopes that the event shows the folks in New York what its missing.

 Fighter Payouts

Via MMA Junkie:

Champ Anderson Silva: $200,000 (includes no win bonus)
def. Vitor Belfort: $275,000

Forrest Griffin: $275,000 ($150,000 win bonus)
def. Rich Franklin: $75,000

Jon Jones: $140,000 ($70,000 win bonus)
def. Ryan Bader: $20,000

Jake Ellenberger: $32,000 ($16,000 win bonus)
def. Carlos Eduardo Rocha: $8,000

Miguel Torres: $56,000 ($28,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio Banuelos: $9,000

Donald Cerrone: $36,000 ($18,000 win bonus)
def. Paul Kelly: $19,000

Chad Mendes: $19,000 ($9,500 win bonus)
def. Michihiro Omigawa: $8,000

Demetrious Johnson: $10,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
def. Norifumi Yamamoto: $15,000

Paul Taylor: $36,000 ($18,000 win bonus)
def. Gabe Ruediger: $8,000

Kyle Kingsbury: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Ricardo Romero: $10,000

Mike Pierce: $28,000 ($14,000 win bonus)
def. Kenny Robertson: $6,000

As always, the payouts are not inclusive as certain fighters receive “locker room bonuses” from the UFC and paid from their individual sponsors.

It’s interesting to see that Jon Jones gets paid like a top star. His base was only $5K less than the more-established Rich Franklin. It looks like the base salaries has increased from a $3,000 minimum to $6,000 minimum.

Bonuses – each fighter received a $75K bonus

Paul Kelly versus Donald Cerrone – Fight of the Night

Jon Jones – Submission of the Night

Anderson Silva – Knockout of the Night

No complaints on any of the fighter bonuses. I have been a proponent of giving the benefit of the doubt to a lower-tier fighter for Sub or KO of the night but both Jones and Silva deserved their bonuses.

Attendance and Gate

Saturday’s “UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort” event drew a reported 10,893 attendees and generated a live gate of $3.6 million. This did not include an additional $45,100 in revenue generated by the 1,046 attendees who viewed the fight via closed-circuit broadcast. (h/t MMA Junkie)

Sponsorship Watch

Xbox 360 – Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson was sponsored by the Microsoft video game console maker. Johnson’s gym in Kirkland (recently featured on Inside MMA) is 15 minutes from the Microsoft campus in Washington. Not sure if this was the tie-in to get him sponsored, but it’s a theory. Not only did Johnson use his twitter to ask his followers to demand that his fight be televised, he used it to promote Xbox 360’s  Twitter and Facebook page.

Xyience – The energy drink of the UFC was in full force with signage on the mat and on every bottle of water used by the fighters. It also sponsored an Ultimate Access Sweepstakes where two fans could win the VIP treatment at UFC 129 in Toronto which includes meeting Jon Jones. A great form of brand activation.

Tapout – A new fashion statement coming to the ring replacing the regular fight shirt – the track suit top. Not a lot of design and it looked great.

Form Athletics /K-Swiss – Jon Jones signed a multi-year deal with K-Swiss which promised a Jon Jones shoe. Jones wore the K-Swiss tubes at the weigh-ins. Also, Jones will have a signature line of clothing with Form Athletics. It probably includes this hoodie.

MusclePharm – Despite its past troubles, it sponsored three fighters (two in one fight – Ellenberger v. Rocha) including Anderson Silva.

Speaking of Silva, he reportedly made $100K from Brazilian brand Bonanno for wearing it during the fight. In addition, Silva signed with Brazilian sports marketing agency, 9ine. Although relatively new, the agency is owned by WPP, an established, worldwide advertising firm.

Facebook and Twitter

The UFC utilized its Facebook page to live stream another fight. It first used its page at UFC Fight for the Troops 2. This time, Demetrious Johnson faced Kid Yamamoto. Johnson had campaigned, via his twitter, to have his fight televised. And behold, he gets the opportunity to have fans see his fight via Facebook. Johnson also forged a nice sponsorship deal with Xbox 360.

The UFC also introduced a fight game on Facebook: UFC Fight Nation.

Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva made waves on Twitter as both were trending prior to weigh-ins. The fight was especially popular in Brazil. After his big KO, Silva remained trending in twitterverse hours after the fight.

UFC 126 Prelims: 2 million viewers

MMA Junkie reports that Saturday night’s UFC 126 prelims hit 2 million viewers. It earned a 1.2 household rating including a 1.7 for M18-49. It was the highest-rated program in its timeslot among M18-49 and 18-34. It was an all-time high for “UFC Prelims” broadcasts.

HD Net at the UFC Weigh-Ins

HD Net’s Inside the MMA held its weekly show at the UFC weigh-ins. Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice were joined by Mike Goldberg. The show provided insight and did a good job in hyping the fights as the fighters got on the scales. It was surreal to see Joe Rogan host the UFC weigh-ins on one channel and then flip to Inside the MMA and see his PPV broadcast partner on HD Net. I think the HD Net broadcast adds value to the weigh-ins but it cannot go up against the live feed hosted by Joe Rogan. It will be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do.

UFC offers new experience via UFC.tv

The UFC introduced a new technology on UFC.tv which includes control of audio and video, multiple camera angles and interaction with other fans. No news yet on how many people took advantage of it but we will keep you updated.

Storylines Post-UFC 126

“Superfight in the making” – Silva v. GSP: Jake Shields is the only man to stop this from happening.

“Next big thing” – Jones gets title shot on 6 weeks notice: At 23, is he ready to hold down the Light Heavyweight Division?

“Rashad Evans moving?” If Jon Jones wins, Evans stated that he will never fight his teammate and move divisions.

Odds and ends

Look for the UFC to do something more with 3-D. With its new technology initiatives, it’s coming soon.

In its pre-main event fight analysis, the UFC used mini-Belfort and Silva to go over the keys to victory. Pretty interesting.

Aaron Rodgers thanked Dana White via tweet for the Championship belt he had on the podium after the Super Bowl.

If you were wondering where Silva got the mask at the weigh-ins, Sherdog has the info. Before Silva donned the mask, there was Shaq.

Xyience and UFC offers Ultimate Access contest for UFC 129

February 3, 2011

Xyience, the official energy drink of the UFC and the UFC have teamed up for a contest where fans will have the “Ultimate Access” for UFC 129.  The winner will receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, access to the Fan Expo, tickets to UFC 129 and the opportunity to attend a UFC 129 after party. In addition, the winner will hang with Jon Jones and Xyience spokesmodels.

Via Xyience press release:

The Ultimate Access Sweepstakes gives mixed martial arts (MMA) fans the chance to receive VIP treatment at the UFC Fan Expo, being held at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, April 29 – 30, 2011. One lucky winner and a guest will receive round trip airfare and hotel accommodations and VIP passes for the UFC Fan Expo.

If that isn’t enough, the Ultimate Access Sweepstakes winner will receive VIP access to the UFC weigh-in on Friday, April 29, as well as tickets to attend UFC® 129: ST-PIERRE vs. SHIELDS at Rogers Centre on Saturday, April 30 as a guest of UFC light heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones.  After the fight, Jones and XYIENCE spokesmodels Amber Nichole and Amanda Corey will escort the winner to the official UFC 129 after party hosted by XYIENCE.

Payout Perspective: 

This is a pretty attractive contest for UFC fans. It is a great form of brand activation for Xyience. It partners with the UFC for what is likely one of the biggest UFC events of the year. Not only does the winner get a chance to go to UFC 129, they will get to meet Jon Jones and Xyience spokesmodels. The use of Jones is another sign that the UFC, and sponsors like Xyience see him as the next big thing in MMA not only in the Octagon, but as a spokesperson. Yes, a loss to Bader on Saturday can put a damper on the lovefest, but its hard not to recognize his marketability.

When going to the page to enter the contest, it leads to the UFC page and offers the chance to enter the contest or go to the Xyience web site. When registering, it is required that you enter your favorite Xyience product. Thus, it gives Xyience a forum for additional research into the popularity of its products.

Overall, a good promotion and it will be interesting to see the number of entrants and how the winners enjoy the contests.

Xyience Launches UFC Weekend Experience

May 12, 2010

Xyience, maker of Xenergy, the official energy drink of the UFC, has announced it will hold a UFC Weekend Experience similar to those recently held by other UFC sponsors like Harley Davidson, Bud Light, and Edge Shave Gel. One grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas in order to train with Xyience athlete Wanderlei Silva and attend a UFC event.

The sweepstakes has already started and runs until August 30th, 2010.

Payout Perspective:

It’s nice to see these sponsors investing around their sponsorships to really drive home the association between their brand and the UFC. Not only do sponsors benefit from borrowing the UFC’s equity, but the UFC benefits from the increased exposure and marketing. Xyience products are sold in over 40,000 retail stores across the US and that presence is now transfered to the UFC by way of this sweepstakes program.

Note: The contest is free, so be sure to sign up. Ten people will also receive a gift card to buy a gaming console and MMA video game (the fact that it’s not specifically UFC Undisputed 2010 leads me to believe there was possibly a legal issue there that they wanted to avoid).

Zuffa Named in Bankruptcy Fraud Complaint

February 18, 2010

The latest turn in the Xyience Bankruptcy saga comes as David Herzog, the Liquidating Trustee for the estate of Xyience Incorporated, has filed yet another complaint in US Bankruptcy Court, this time against Zuffa Marketing, LLC (a company wholly-owned by Zuffa LLC).

The complaint alleges that in 2007 and 2008 Zuffa Marketing entered into a conspiracy with a number of Xyience officials to defraud creditors and stockholders out of the corporation. The complaint further alleges that Zuffa Marketing committed fraud on the court in order to avoid $4.5 million in repayment. Herzog alleges that these actions damaged the equity value of Xyience by nearly $100 million.

Herzog last filed a complaint on December 29, 2009 alleging Fertitta Enterprises, through affliate Zyen, pursued a lend-to-own strategy designed to take control of the company rather than purchase it from creditors and shareholders.

More to follow on the Xyience situation as it unfolds.

Xyience Signs Endorsement Deal with Dan Hardy

February 10, 2010

Xyience has announced the addition of UFC welterweight Dan Hardy to its growing stable of brand ambassadors; most of whom are other UFC fighters.

XYIENCE Signs Endorsement Deal with UFC Fighter Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy

 

 

LAS VEGAS (February 10, 2010) XYIENCE, the official energy drink of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announces that UFC fighter Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy has joined its team of brand ambassadors by signing an exclusive promotional contract, effective immediately. The 27-year-old British welterweight has been fighting professionally since 2004. He has held titles with Cage Warriors, including Light Welterweight and Welterweight World Champion. In 2008, Hardy signed with the UFC, and now has an overall mixed martial arts (MMA) record of 23-6-0. In March, he will become the first British fighter to compete for a UFC title when he faces the current UFC Welterweight Champion, Canadian Georges St. Pierre, at UFC 111 on March 27, 2010 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

 

“In addition to being one of the finest fighters in the UFC, Dan Hardy is a unique individual –a dedicated athlete and highly creative artist. He approaches mixed martial arts with the same raw passion as his own art  –deeply intuitive yet still influenced and inspired by his teachers and coaches,” says Jessica Lautman-Hughes, XYIENCE’s senior marketing specialist, who heads up fighter relations.

Payout Perspective:

The fighters are finally starting to figure out what it takes to be a good promoter. Now, not only are the big fights coming their way, but so are the endorsements. This is what the fighters need to be doing to build their brand and drawing power.

However, there is a risk that MMA, as a whole, goes overkill on the whole fight hype aspect of promoting events. In reality, it will likely work itself out; the guys that talk smack must be able to back it up (if they can’t, they won’t be taken seriously). Still, the last thing this sport needs is every fighter cutting a WWE-style promo like Wes Simms did on TUF and at the last Strikeforce show.

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