UFC, Reebok, Chandler Delatour discussed on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show
There was a new like fight promotion every week. And we'd just be making changes for that. You know those were those were different times. And then and then I I Uh went from there and you know part of fall out and I started My brand try if united which you know stuck around. And he's still doing that now too you know that's fully equipment brand and you know we we. We worked with a lot of people from the start. You know what I mean. Same kind of names Kim Bo and rampage. I mean we're connor. Back in the day worked with the list goes. It was on with me pretty much anyone that needed gear and they started their career. You know in those early days we would. We would work with them and you know we we were working with. UFC paying the tax back of the before the Reebok days. You know I've seen it from every single angle from being an owner of a business to obviously doing what I'm doing right now for one of the largest monsters In the space and we will get to that sponsor in a moment. But I'm just crazy about the post tough boom because during that boom you know the sport was starting to get really popular. But it was also like a gazillion zillion brands out there and you as throwdown yet triumph. What was that period like? Like how hard was it to actually breakthrough and make money during that period. Okay so the the only reason I mean I I came from. I came from a from a direct. You know marketing background in a comparable sport which is like I said action sports so MMA in May was like kind of like a fringe thing at that point. And I and I had the tools from from being a photographer being a market understanding how to get the sales out there that I didn't have to go and rely on trying to build this. Massive business like everybody else was like dumping money like insane amounts of money into trying to start businesses and then they were paying the The athletes An exorbitant amount based on really just like like a we can no one could ever really justify what the reasoning why reason why for the you know the amount of sponsorship like so one fight would be like. Oh It's twenty thousand dollars for a lake or the next like it'd be five grand and it's just it would be balancing all over the place and that's why you saw. I mean the buried varied entry just like you know. A lot of things in the sport was really low. You got the money you could start a brand up but he could get right in. And if you're a fan you know if you were just a fan of the sport you could get next to these fighters you could get next to the sport in a way that you never were able to in the past and you would see these people that have no had no knowledge of of of real business. You know like Marketing manufacturing anything. They just wanted to be involved in they would. They would love her everything. They had their 401k's or her rows whatever just as started these brands in the sense that they thought they were going to be the next. You know at the time tab out were affliction whatever and you know they would just go and they would just just blitz it and then you see the brand you know out there for you know a couple of months and then it'd be the next brand and it'd be the next Brian and with me. I mean I just Kinda just I was in for the long I was never into to you know I saw differently like I knew that this sport was going to grow. I knew that the sport was going to evolve into something like it is now so I just. I just cruised it and he does. I knew that it wasn't going to be we made. We made quite a bit of money at the first couple of years just because the the the industry was just on fire and everybody he's picking it up but then once You know once it started once a crash started happening and The retail crash happened. You know I saw everybody lose and you know I wish yeah. I still have the shoe brands so I was Kinda doing both same time. Just cruise and I was able to maintain having my brand through. You know I mean that's close fourteen years now because I was never in it to just get rich all within it to make better equipment or you know just basically do it to help the athletes out. I mean 'cause I I you know obviously I'm really into it myself. I trained daily. I mean it's still my life like this isn't like I. I mean as much as I am a definite fan of the sport and a fan of of what this has become. I mean you take it all back and I would still just my whole thing is is that I am a practitioner of martial arts and I love it so it doesn't make a difference just to me if I make money or if I don't I just WanNa make sure that there's something there long term for the athletes to be able to have and now you're the director of combat sports for Monster Energy and that's the brand that I was talking about that. You see very visibly on the UFC octagon On on the canvas you also see them very much. A part of Bella toward these days is how did you get linked up with monster. And then how did you help get monster. So involved in the world of combat sports so Roughly around and like nine or ten years ago we've been monsters been involved in MMA for gone close to ten years now and it was very slow gradual process One one of one of a very very close friend of mine who's the Is Senior Director of all action. Sports at Monster Brought me on as a to to start working on a developmental program program for monsters very very rudimentary program that that we had no idea where it was going to go. And when I say that I'm talking about like it started off with like two athletes. You know I mean the first two athletes you know that were on it Were Michael Xiamen dominant crews and then we added Chiron spong and then we added Raby shocks. And I'm like they. They were just guys at all like you know like. I said they're people that I've always worked with that. I always knew could. Could you know like not only carry the brand well but I knew that that'd that'd be good representative. You know they would. They would represent the brand in a way that it would help grow it and so all of them combined you know through the years halt get it to that next level where you had chandler delatour. Yeah you know at that time you had Rampage was in Delatour or he was living in for he did bagging. UFC and then came back with all the tour and tyrone spong was in the world series the fight and we had sponsored so so how it worked out was the first event we ever did was a Event in Hawaii rich shouted and it was a a a Li event and I think it was the one that I am confused. Right probably was the parent company but elite XC was the event in which was one of the breakers. Yeah well there one. He took over and they changed back. Lee Oh that's right. They did they went back to pro. You're you're right. Yeah so he did that he did that and I and I. It was the first time crime that we put the logo and and got it approved to be on that and so that was that was the initial started it that started it and then the secondary part was the world's unquiet where we did a couple of fights with them and then it went from there to Bella tour and then once it was in for a it exploded because we're because then then I was able to use it it and kind of utilized that a lot of the the same you know sales marketing tactics utilized in action sports and apply it to you. Know you know two and and to the beverage world which was you know like getting getting a lot of the retailers involved getting you know the sales guys and ball to show that there was a you know meaning behind this whole whole program and Once that happened you know you saw. The enormous potential enemy was doing uh-huh the visibility. And how well like you know these. These athletes good for the company so that quickly expanded the brand as we got more athletes involved all and then We have the opportunity to work with. UFC and we did the AFC concurrent with the deal we had with Delatour and and you know they're two totally different. You Know Company and in my mind you know like as as I. I didn't feel like we needed to do one or the other. I saw that you know I wanted to be able to and I've seen how how this industry is treated the fighters like and I'm not saying you know like I wanted to be this massive just like brand blanketing over everything but that's truly what it became you know and you know we we wanted to be able to work with you. Know athletes in both spaces says which we do currently now and so we have the opportunity with UFC. We took it we you know. We became the the center matt sponsor for UFC along with you know with Delatour and then and we added Now we're working with you know. Glory kickboxing also. So we've expanded the brand into you. Know a very large sphere fear of MMA influence having you know some of the greatest names ever attached to it as well as some of the best organization. You've seen and done it all as far as sponsorship. AUTHORSHIP is concerned you. You saw the boom in the crash as you mentioned and now the era that we're in now I was talking to Tiki about this our previous guests and I'm I'm you know the the answer. Sure to this question better than anyone. There was a time early on in the. The Reebok era kicked off that everyone was lamenting the fact that sponsorships are gone. Fighters can make any money either making peanuts. The Reebok deal is helping the fighters attorney to fight. It's such an. I'm wondering now with the advent of of instagram. Social Media. If actually fighters can make more money I need than they ever were able to make the tough eras that possible. Well look. I think that that. That's a two part question in the first part is yes. I you think that that fighters absolutely can make more money if they actually set themselves up right with you know a team and and understand how the marketing any aspect works right. You can't just expect to be sponsored and I say this all the time just because you know you're you're you know like just say hypothetically that the number one fighter undefeated undefeated whatever but you don't have a strong marketing base and you don't have a strong fall and you're not doing all the things that really require you'd become a face. Not only of a May may face outside You're you're going to be a limiting yourself. You know from from the sponsorship perspective where years ago you know a lot of the the agents would just you know they would the hypothetical and say. Hey you're you know they would come to me. Say Hey like if I put a you know like I could put your logo on the shore. It's millions of people are going to see it and I would tell him the same thing go. But that doesn't equate the millions of sales and like yeah. A lot of people may see.