According to a press release from Affliction, Donald Trump will be partnering with the clothing company turned MMA promoter in a capacity to be revealed at a press conference tomorrow. The full press releases comes courtesy of Five Ounces of Pain:
WHAT: "Affliction Banned" Press Conference
WHO: DONALD J. TRUMP
Chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization
WHEN: Thursday, June 5 – 12 PM/ET
WHERE: Trump Tower, 25th Floor, 725 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022
WHY: To announce a partnership between Affliction and Donald J. Trump, who will outline his involvement with Affliction and "Affliction Banned," the star studded mixed-martial-arts show July 19th 2008 on pay-per-view television, featuring the return of Russian combat fighting icon Fedor Emelianenko at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
"Affliction Banned" will be distributed on Pay-Per-View and air live (9 PM/ET, 6 PM/PT) on cable and satellite viewing in the USA and Canada via iN DEMAND, TVN, Shaw Communications, Viewer’s Choice Canada, DirecTV, DISH Network, Bell ExpressVue and Star Choice for a suggested retail price of $39.95. The telecast will be available in both standard and high definition television.
Tickets for "Affliction Banned," ranging between $50.00 and $1,000.00, are on sale at the Honda Center box office and also online at Ticketmaster.com.
That would explain why the previous Affliction press conference was held at Trump Towers.
Trumps involvement in MMA is not surprising, as his interest in sports is well chronicled. Trump was the one-time owner of the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, and is an avid fan of golf, owning seven golf courses worldwide. However, Trump's most prominent forray into sports, or in this case sports entertainment, was "The Battle of the Billionaires" at Wrestlemania 23, where he chose recent AFL signee Bobbly Lashley to represent him with Trump's hair at stake. Trump had previously hosted Wrestlemanias IV and V at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ.
A footnote to this story is that Trump is following in the footsteps of fellow billionaire Mark Cuban, who entered into the MMA business when Cuban's television network, HDNet, began broadcasting MMA programming and events in 2007. Trump and Cuban are somewhat of rivals, stemming from Cuban's reality show, The Benefactor, which some (including Trump) bore too close a resemblance to Trump's hit reality show, The Apprentice. Trump had this to say about Cuban, his show, and the Dallas Mavericks, which Cuban also owns:
“Mark Cuban was extremely embarrassed when he copied ‘The Apprentice’ and failed,” Trump raged. “They threw him off television like a dog.
“I wrote him a note and I said, ‘Mark, you have absolutely no television persona. I wish you would have spoken to me previously or before you did this. I could have told you it was gonna fail.’ And he failed.
“Same thing with the Mavericks. The Mavericks have a great team. They’ll never win with Mark Cuban as the owner because he is not a winner.”
Ironic, as Affliction was at one time rumored to be broadcast on HDNet.