Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship sent out a memo to their roster stating that no athlete or member of the athlete’s team can wear any gear with CBD, or marijuana logos anymore, at any official BKFC function. The reason; is a new TV deal.
Since the memo was released, the buzz from the BKFC community has been big. From fighters trying to figure out how to honor obligations to sponsors from the aforementioned CBD/marijuana industry, to what company is BKFC partnering up with for future broadcasts.
Without being able to wear gear with said sponsor logos, many athletes seem to be panicked as to how they can promote their sponsors.
The answer is really quite simple; social media. While the easiest way to promote is to have a logo on your fight shorts or fight shirt on a major broadcast, athletes today should be truly focusing on building their brand via social media. Yes, this requires the athlete to put in a little more time into building themselves, but they should have been doing that anyway because that is the world we live in today.
It’s really simple to make a video of yourself, and then share it wearing gear with your sponsor’s logos on them and promoting the product that is paying the bills, funding your camp, and all things involved in your fighting career. It is definitely going to be a little more time-consuming for the athletes, but it is a legitimate work around the no CBD/marijuana edict implemented by BKFC. Plus if we’re being honest, that’s what should have been happening all along.
As far as the new TV deal, everyone is trying to figure out where BKFC is going to land, and that’s going to be interesting.
In July of 2020, at #BKFC11 in Oxford, Mississippi, BKFC President David Feldman announced a deal with DAZN, yet we’re 2 years past that announcement, and have yet to see BKFC content on this sports,( primarily boxing) streaming platform. So I personally don’t believe DAZN is in the mix. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t.
ESPN has been mentioned as a possible broadcast partner. With recent big-name signings of former UFC fighters like Ben Rothwell, Felice Herrig, Mike Perry, and Greg Hardy, and the removal of CBD/marijuana sponsorships, ESPN almost makes sense. The Disney-owned platform however already has the UFC and PFL ( Pro Fight League) on their schedule and that schedule is crowded. I don’t know if they have room for another combat sports promotion, especially one that would be competing for the same time and day slots already occupied by the UFC and PFL. Again, that doesn’t mean it can’t be accomplished.
Here is an interesting option, what about the USA Network? Since the demise of the NBC Sports Network and the USA network now filling that spot for NBC/Universal airing more sports content, this could be their chance to make their mark in the combat sports world.
FOX, the former broadcast partner of the UFC should also be considered a potential landing spot for BKFC. Since parting ways with the UFC, FOX has been on the outside looking in, and seeing what they’re missing as far as viewership. More importantly, revenue generation as combat sports continues to grow exponentially! FOX has always been an innovator and a rebel in the television industry. They have done things over the years that many other networks didn’t do, and only attempted after FOX did it 1st.
I personally think that FOX makes the most sense. They have the financial ability to support it, and the global reach to accomplish it. In my opinion, they are the biggest sports platform outside of ESPN. Combat sports as a whole is making an undeniable mark in live sports broadcasting on a global level. The evidence is right in front of us with the above-mentioned promotions on ESPN, plus ONE on Amazon, Combat sports have literally fought their way into our lives, and homes, and the craving continue to grow. With networks falling over one another to acquire broadcast rights to the biggest and best content, it’s a great time to be in the combat sports business!
Nobody other than David Feldman, and his team know where BKFC will land. Rest assured, that whatever they do land it’s going to make great sense for the business of BKFC.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.