Friday, February 9, 2007

One-on-one with EliteXC President Gary Shaw

Why do you think the UFC has been successful up to this point?
Shaw: "They've been successful because they were the first one out of the box and they got a basic cable deal with Spike TV. Before Spike TV, they were treading water. So, it wasn't that the UFC did it -- it was the fact that they got on Spike [which] was the thing that really shot them out of the cannon."

Dana White said that the UFC does not specifically market to women. EliteXC, on the other hand, seems intent on attracting women to the sport. What are you doing specifically to market to women?
Shaw: "We're becoming fan-friendly. I made sure that we went out and got a woman to fight on our very first card, which is Gina Carano, who to me is beautiful outside and inside. And she can also fight. So that the men in the audience watching will say, "Wow, she's really hot," and the women will be proud to be represented by someone like her who can fight. And we're just trying to be friendly, because I realize that in order to do big promotions you need that crossover. You need the women to look at the sport for the beauty it is and not [view it] as barbaric. And to have a great time. So, I'm marketing to women, for sure."

How many total events will you have this year?
Shaw: "Six to eight."

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