And when that happens, DREAM hopes more fans will part with their cash.
Mike Kogan, Director of FEG USA, on Friday told MMAjunkie.com that the lucrative new deal between DREAM’s parent company, Fighting and Entertainment Group, and Shanghai-based investment bank PUJI Capital is an important step in regaining MMA’s foothold in Japan and the rest of the world.
But for DREAM to thrive, Kogan said it’s crucial that the company converts some of its fanbase to “a paying public.”
FEG, which also heads the preeminent kickboxing promotion K-1, recently announced that PUJI will stake the fight promotion company in an aggressive worldwide expansion effort – to the tune of up to $230 million U.S. dollars, according to the investment bank.
While the shape of the expansion is not entirely clear, FEG president Sadaharu Tanikawa said the effort will begin in 2011.
Tanikawa said the expansion is a “declaration of war against the WWE and UFC,” though the company plans specifically to avoid the U.S. market, where he feels they are outgunned by the pay-per-view giants. The company has not promoted a show in the mainland U.S. since August 2007 for the K-1 World Grand Prix in Las Vegas.
Tanikawa admitted the company has lost a huge portion of its market share in the martial arts business and that its business model needs to change.
“From Asia, we will take the world,” Tanikawa said.