Regional promoters are a crucial cog in the elevation of fighters in both boxing and MMA. Regional promoters gather the raw talent from around the country, and put it on display for the world to see. They give opportunity to local fighters and amateurs turning pro, provide an outlet for fans to see quality fights, and most importantly, regional promoters are in the game to make money. In both boxing and MMA, regional promoters can really only make money a couple of ways:
- Ticket Sales
But the big money for these sports lie in deals for television, PPV and live stream. In both boxing and MMA, these avenues are controlled by the major, world-recognized promotions. This is the one great difference between being a successful regional promoter in MMA and one in boxing:
In MMA, it is an gall-or-nothingh attitude from the major promotions (UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator). Those major promotions will not sign a fighter who is contracted with a regional promoter. The fighter who is under contract with the regional promoter loses gthe opportunity of a lifetimeh unless the regional promoter releases him from that contract. The regional promoter gets nothing in return for the time, money, and effort he took to build the local fighters into a nationally recognized prospect. In boxing, major promotions (Golden Boy, Top Rank, Don King) negotiate with regional promoters (and each other) in order to showcase the best talent in the world regardless of whom that fighter is contracted with. A regional promoter can reap the benefit of his investment of providing the initial outlet for that fighter.
In boxing, the best in the world will always fight each other eventually, regardless of who is the promoter (Mayweather vs. Pacquiao excluded) and the regional promoter can make a profit off of a fighter that becomes a World Champion. By doing so, he is able to continue to play his part in the sportfs food-chain and be met with the possibility of major financial success.
I hope that MMA takes the same approach to working with regional promoters as has boxing. Not only for the benefit of the regional promoter, but for the benefit of the fans and the fighters who want to see who is the gbest in the worldh and see one true champion of that sport without the concern of whether the promoter is regional or not.
Gregory Bloom, Esq. is a sports and entertainment attorney with ChaseLawyers in Miami, FL (www.chaselawyers.com). He has represented numerous high-]level athletes in both boxing and Mixed Martial Arts, and has handled complex, high-]profile contract negotiations, sponsorship and endorsement deals, and brand recognition opportunities for his clients.