Tuesday, April 3, 2007

K-1 and Company’s Strategic Partnership: What Does It Entail?

By Steve Marrocco

At March 27th’s press conference for K-1’s Dynamite USA!, event host EliteXC announced a partnership with four other prominent MMA promotions around the world. The president of K-1’s parent company, Sadaharu Tanikawa, named Strikeforce, BodogFight, Korea’s Spirit MC, and England’s Cage Rage as “supporters” in the event.

“Pro Elite from day one has always been about being inclusive,” Elite CEO Doug DeLuca elaborated. “Here we are today with some of the finest mixed martial arts promotions around the globe, standing shoulder to shoulder to agree to collaborate, to share fighters, and to grow the sport of mixed martial arts.”

Two of the promotions mentioned prominently when the partnership was announced, Strikeforce and BodogFight, seem to have a varying understanding as to what the agreement entails.

Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker confirmed to FCF that there had been a verbal agreement to share fighters and fighter footage, but the agreement went no further than that.

When asked for details on the exact nature of the collaboration, BodogFight released this statement:

“Bodog Entertainment is a global digital entertainment company and we are constantly looking for business opportunities that provide first-rate entertainment to consumers. Bodog has communicated with many organizations in the past including K-1 / FEG, but we have not entered into any agreement with K-1 / FEG. Hence the Bodog name was not mentioned in the press kit distributed at the K-1 / FEG press conference in Los Angeles on March 27th.”

At the press conference, Elite CEO Doug DeLuca stressed that a future deal outlining further collaboration between the companies is a possibility, but not certain. For now, it may be premature to call the assembly of companies a “partnership”.

When asked for comment about Bodog’s statement, DeLuca told FCF “there is no formal business arrangement at this time. Everyone in the alliance has agreed to work together and help one another whenever possible.”

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