What To Do When Your Show Gets Cancelled

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

cancelled

In light of the recent cancelation of an mma event, I have decided to pen the proper way to handle such a thing should it ever happen in the future. By no means is this a be-all-end-all must do list, but it will take a very bad situation, minimize the damage, and help secure your future instead of making a big scene about the situation, maximize the damage, and really hurt any future cards you may put on.

So you find out that you have to cancel your event. This could be due to any number of valid reasons to you. The reasons themselves, DO NOT MATTER. The point is they are valid enough for you to cancel your event.

The first thing you want to do is draft a press release stating your event is cancelled and give a reason for it. While giving that reason, take accountability for it 100%. It doesn’t matter if the state athletic commission screwed you over, your main event fighter pulled out with an injury, no matter what the reason is, take accountability for it. Have this press release ready to go public in a moments notice.

The next thing you need to do is call ALL of your fighters that were fighting on the card. Explain to them that the card is cancelled, but that you are going to be trying to find them a new fight in the near future, while also wanting to keep them on your rescheduled card. Then explain to them to not leak the info that the card is cancelled as you want to PERSONALLY call every fighter and explain the situation and after you have called every single fighter you will release a press release. If a fighter doesn’t understand this concept, just ask them if they were happy that you called them personally or would have preferred to have heard it from a random person on the internet.

After calling all of your fighters, send out your press release. After doing so, start calling all the reporters you can to get your apology out there first. This is important. Again, it doesn’t matter what the reason was, so long as you take responsibility for it and are out in front of the situation, you will be fine.

If your next event is within the next four weeks, put the fighters on that card. If it is more than four weeks, look to your competitors. Explain that you had to cancel your show and offer them fights. EVEN IF THEY WERE YOUR TITLE FIGHT. Doing this shows good will for the fighters, the fans, and other promoters. If you called a promoter because you had to cancel an event and put three fights on their card, who do you think they will call first when they have to cancel one of their own?

Finally, offer everyone who purchased a ticket to get a full refund AND a discount for the next show. Yes this cuts into your profits, but the moment a fan hears that a show was cancelled before, they are going to be much less likely to purchase a ticket to future events. If you give them a reason, other than the fights, they will go.

While it is easy to point out the things to do, and they seem like common sense, that isn’t always the case. Just so there is some clarification on this, below is a bullet list of things NOT to do.

  • Delay getting your story out there. Every second matters
  • Ignore fighter calls, emails, and texts about a cancelation rumor
  • Point the blame at someone else, ultimately it is your show
  • Publicly call out other promotions who try to help the fighters still get a fight
  • Insult anyone related in the business, fighters, managers, refs, media, etc…

The Right Ways Of Trying To Get Sponsorships

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

get-money

The first article in this series was about the wrong ways of getting a sponsorship from a company. But it wouldn’t be fair to just point out the wrong without pointing out the right. With that said, this is not a be all end all list of obtaining sponsorships correctly. What it is, is proven methods that others have used and have been successful with.

We first mentioned the random contacting of sponsors bragging about how good you are and that it should be honor for them to work with you. While that method will likely fail every single time, tweaking it, makes it work. What’s the tweak?

First you need to be humble in your communications to the company. You cannot brag or boast. No one likes someone who flaunts things in others faces, even if it is justifiably so.

Taking the example of the “best non-signed UFC fighter” let’s say you are an 8-0 fighter as a pro. A communication line would be to point out how you have remained undefeated while facing tougher and tougher competition. Explain why your competition increased in difficulty and at the same time explain why your work ethic has helped you in victory. It is ok to be honest about how good you are, but not to brag about it.

Continuing on with this same example, instead of just telling them where to mail a check to, ask who you should talk to about possibly entertaining the idea of becoming a local sponsor for them. Once you set up the meeting, again, be humble and honest. Here you need to lay the ground work for what they will get in return for sponsoring you. A two-inch patch on your shorts isn’t going to do squat for them. And once you say you are going to do something, do it.

Make sure that you go above and beyond for the company. If you show that you are interested in their product, they will in turn show interest in you. They are sponsoring you so that you can do your job better and at the same time they are sponsoring you to help them do their job better.

Another example is don’t be afraid to negotiate for product or service only in return. My favorite example of this was a fighter that went to a chiropractor after having a rough day in the gym. The chiropractor adjusted him for a modest fee and sent the fighter home not knowing who he was. The next day, the fighter called him up and was amazed at how well he felt. He then talked to the chiropractor and worked out getting adjusted at no cost as part of his sponsorship package. The fighter then referred other fighters to the chiropractor and everyone was happy.

We mentioned in the last article, and it is worth repeating. Be aware of your presence on social media. Personally, I like the rule of, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, or to your parents, you shouldn’t say it. You could have a fantastic relationship with a sponsor, but then go off on a rant about something and they drop you.

Finally, get a good manager. There are thousands of managers out there and more will spring up by the time you have read this article. Make sure that the management company you hire to represent you falls in line with your same values and has your best interests at heart. Include an out clause for you to get out in case you don’t like something that happened so you can get out quickly. But a good manager, even if it is just for procuring sponsorships can mean the difference from getting $100 a fight to earning $1,000 a month.

The Wrong Ways Of Trying To Get Sponsors

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

wrong-sponsorsOne of the hardest things of being a fighter is obtaining a sponsorship. We all know how important they are, and if done right, they are important to both sides of the party. Ideally the fighter is successful enough both in and outside of the cage to bring some attention to that brand and at the same time, the brand is successful enough to get eyeballs on their fighter. It should be a reciprocal relationship.

But instead of talking about what an ideal relationship is and what should be expected from both parties (let’s save that for another article), let’s talk about the wrong ways of trying to get a sponsor.

My favorite, and has a nearly 100% shot down rate, is sending an email to a company with some variation of the following.

Yo! I’m John Doe and I am the best fighter not signed to the UFC yet. You should be honored to work with me and give me $XXX and in return I will put your logo on my shorts. Here’s my address to mail the check to.

Seriously? I’ve read some good variations on that line, some likely to be even done in jest. But telling someone you are the best unsigned fighter doesn’t mean squat. To quote Brent Weedman from an interview we did, “That’s like being the tallest kid in the third grade”.

So don’t do it. Another one of my favorites is when I see a fighter post on facebook saying “I’m fighting in 30 days. Hit me up for sponsors”. Yes that is an actual line that I have seen, and truth be told, the inspiration for this article.

The biggest issue here is that he is saying hit him up for sponsors, meaning he has them and is looking to sponsor people. I am just as guilty of poor grammar as the next person, but when the goal is to get people to give you money and not you give them money, it’s kind of silly.

Additionally on top of it, this is probably the laziest approach ever to trying to get a sponsor. You might as well go into the local mall, stand at the center and shout “Hey someone give me money”. With the speed that we read and disregard facebook posts, this mall method might have a longer life span.

Being that you are on social media more than likely, make sure you don’t do something stupid on it. While a single non-important post on facebook or twitter is going to be brushed off, a mis-guided or bad post will live on for a lot longer. Think of Forrest Griffin with his “joke” about rape on twitter. Think a local company wants to deal with that?

Finally don’t over-estimate a company’s worth when asking for money. Just because they appear to be a huge successful company, doesn’t mean that they are. If they tell you they can only give you $200 for a fight and you demand $1000, they might walk. Not because they don’t want to work with you, but because they cannot afford to. One sponsorship company that used to be around at all the local shows went under after sponsoring a fighter for 4x what they could afford. The fighter didn’t sell a single shirt and all of their resources were dried up in a matter of weeks.

The Importance Of Wearing A Suit

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

Richard Hale - photo by Brent Todd

Richard Hale – photo by Brent Todd


If I have one piece of advice for any fighter, be it an up-and-coming amateur fighter, or a UFC champion, it is wear a suit when promoting your fight. The exception of course is if you are doing a workout in front of cameras. But the rest of the time, if you are promoting your fight, both before and after, wear a suit.

Why? Because of what wearing a suit implies. It says that you are professional. It says that you took the time to dress yourself nice. It shows that you have respect for yourself and in turn for what you do.

If you are trying to convince people to give you money, you want them to know that you care about what you are doing. Would you show up to an interview for that important job wearing torn jeans and a t-shirt? No.

Look at some of the greats through out history in sports. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali. All of them wore suits when speaking to the press. Yes their skills in their respective sport earned them respect, but they also commanded it with what they wear.

At UFC 69 after he was defeated, Georges St-Pierre still wore a suit to the post fight press conference. After his hard fought battle with Carlos Condit at UFC at UFC 154, he was seen wearing his suit. All because he knows that appearances matter.

Keeping Your Ego In Check

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

Keeping Your Ego In Check

Keeping Your Ego In Check

Dana White said something along the lines of having to deal with all the fighters is a nightmare because of all the egos involved. Granted the sport is that of fighting and the question is who is the better fighter. It is in our DNA to try to be the alpha male. But sometimes, a fighter needs to keep his ego in check. It is a difficult thing to do, but the higher road is the one that will serve a fighter better.

Here is a recent example, and no fighter is going to be named because they have already acted on their actions in a more positive light. After winning a hard fought, three-round decision, a member of the media thought it was unrealistic that the fighter won with the score cards that he did (they were 30-27 across the board) and this member went on to say that he thought the opponent won the fight 29-28.

This lead to the victor of the fight lashing out at the member of the media accusing him of pandering to his more known opponent. The fighter went on a diatribe going so far as to question this member of the media’s credentials and stated that just because one calls himself a professional, doesn’t mean he is one.

Two issues with this. One, he still won the fight regardless of what the member of the media stated. And two, he went after a person who writes for a living in a medium that favored the writer. Not saying the fighter couldn’t hold his own with the written word, but do you think it would be wise of Usain Bolt to challenge Michael Phelps to a swimming race or Phelps to challenge Bolt to a running race? No.

Of course word got out rather quickly about what was going on and the member of the media was quick to retort. The writer flat out stated that the professional fighter himself chose to not act like a professional and instead resorted to childish and bully like actions.

The fighter went on to mention that if a potential sponsor saw the words written about him not winning the fight that he could realistically not gain that sponsor. The problem with that logic, is that in the way he defended himself, by going on a rant, he hurt himself even worse than a writer giving their opinion on the scoring of the fight. And of course, let’s keep in mind that scoring a fight is just that, an opinion.

Had the fighter kept his ego in check and gracefully talked to the writer, things might have turned out differently. Instead we have a situation that went from a tiny blip on the radar to massive earthquake.

Another example is back at UFC 100 when Brock Lesnar defeated Frank Mir. He went on to say that he was “going to go home and drink a Coors Light instead of a Bud Light because Bud Light won’t pay him nothing.” Oddly enough at the post fight press conference, Lesnar was sitting there with a Bud Light. Why?

Because according to Lesnar, Dana White gave him a verbal whooping like never before and it put him in his place. Lesnar then apologized at the post-fight press conference and was suddenly very humble. It was a complete 180 and one that was much needed.

Sponsors seek out fighters that will represent their brand well. And while a fighter might say they don’t care how they come off, someone giving them a check certainly does. Just ask NBA star Kobe Bryant about McDonalds or Lance Armstrong about Nike.