A few days ago I was looking at the above view of upcoming events for the next month and that picture is basically the motivation behind this post and in the future weekly/monthly posts about what’s happening in kickfighting. These might be a little bloggy/ranty but we’ll see where they’ll go. These will also most likely skew heavily towards China, but the fact of the matter is a lot is happening there and it’s where the money and tv partners are.
Just to make the point, a little over a 3rd of the notable/televised events in the picture are happening in China, there’s 2 new massive tv channels getting into the game, there is 3 or so new promotions starting depending how you want to count, Kunlun Fight is set to have their inaugural event at their massive new gym/event venue in Beijing and Glory of Heroes 5 is set to (possibly) be the single biggest kickboxing event in over a decade. Frustratingly little of this is really covered anywhere for the english speaking audience.
Starting things off with WLF’s new Rise of Heroes which is looking to be an important piece in developing the sport going further. Rise of Heroes is significant in a couple ways. It’s a start of a new broadcast partnership for WLF on Beijing Television which is a major channel in China. If NBC, Fox or any major American channel decided to start airing an hour of kickboxing ~50 weeks of the year that’d be news but for some reason this doesn’t seem to be.
They’re yet to have their first event but Rise of Heroes has a lot lined up. A big part of the events will be what are looking like 64-man tournaments in 57kg, 60kg, 68kg and 71kg. Rise of Heroes mentioned at least 21 gyms signed up to provide fighters for the events, including 6 gyms internationally among which are gyms like Meijiro and Por. Pramuk. They also mentioned they’d invest ~$22.5mil in building 8 or 16 new gyms in China to fuel the growing need for Chinese talent.
Superstar Fight is another promotion that is looking to make a big leap. They’ve done 4 events earlier this year that were streamed and broadcast on smaller channels. Starting with their 5th event however they’ll be live and regularly (weekly broadcasts?) on CCTV-5 which, again, is a massive tv channel in China and perhaps the biggest sport channel in the world?
Superstar Fight also mentioned some things about their finances earlier. They got $6mil “pre-a” financing a while ago. After the first live event on CCTV-5 they’ll start their series A round of financing. They say they’ll probably start being profitable by the end of the year.
per event costs 450 000-750 000 usd
per event income 300 000-450 000 usd
Budget for the year ~7 000 000 usd
Income for the year ~6 000 000 usd
Other worthwhile things to mention:
– Enfusion has been off for a while and is coming back with a bit bigger event
– KOK event in Estonia should be a big show again
– New from China in Beijing Fight with notable sponsors but at least a no name 1st card
– Hero Legends on October 2nd is a show in a desert again!
– The possibly massive stadium show of Glory of Heroes at the start of October.