MMA is a challenging sport, but at the same time it's also extremely satisfying -- for both athletes and their managers. It surely holds the best value in sports marketing, thanks to an incomparable exposure within the 18-35 demographic sector and a worldwide appeal.
Do you find the nature of your sales pitch has gotten easier or harder with mainstream advertisers or sponsors? I mean, are they chasing you more or less than in older times?
John: Ha! Chasing us?!?! MMA is the most misunderstood sport on the planet and because of that we have and will always have to do the "chasing." With the lack of understanding comes standoffish-like behavior from the business community. And the amount of educating we have to do is truly mind-boggling. But our number one objective is to create opportunities to be heard. If we can get past the early dismissals from companies and get to the point where they will actually listen to what we have to say, the odds dramatically increase in our favor. Love it or hate it, MMA is, bar none, the best value in sports marketing and I challenge anyone to debate that with me. The numbers don't lie.
Elie: We have the hardest sport in the world to sell because of the misconceptions that come along with MMA, but we also have the easiest sport to sell from a sponsorship-value perspective. That's why we spend so much of our time on the road meeting with various companies. If you wait for them to come to you, your athletes won't get great sponsors, and you won't be a manager for very long.