As I outlined earlier this week, 2012 was a big year for kickboxing. The sport virtually came back from the dead, with a number of major events and big business moves. As we look ahead to 2013, the big question is just how much will the revived sport continue to grow. One company has made it clear that they have big plans for the coming year, and if they can make it happen, they stand to make a huge impact on the international scene, and also make some waves in the US. Their name: Superkombat.
Hardcore kickboxing fans are likely already familiar with Superkombat, as the European based company had a strong 2012, staging their own year long Grand Prix (won by Pavel Zhuravlev) and playing host to a cavalcade of thrilling fighters such as Andrei and Bogdan Stoica, Sergei Lascenko, Catalin Morosanu, and Alexandru Lungu (pictured). In recent weeks, they've made two major announcements that promise big things for the future.
Starting in 2013, the company is looking to expand internationally, launching a global expansion plan that looks to add additional regional promotions throughout the world, including here in the United States. And they're taking an interesting approach to it, turning to those already in the regional kickboxing scenes and inviting them to become a part of the Superkombat team. Here's how they describe it:
SUPERKOMBAT® currently produces combat sports events broadcasted worldwide in 75 countries and after the great feedback from the fans and media around the world, we decided to start a worldwide selection of representatives in different countries and continents with the goal of putting the brand on a different scale.
This challenge is touching all the segments from this kind of promotion, starting with new fighters, clubs and further with managers, matchmakers or promoters, trying to connect them in a global network who could provide a future generation of fighters and also to organize some local tryouts or elimination events for the new SUPERKOMBAT® WGP series.
The best example used by Eduard Irimia for the new potential members in this concept is Romania, where he started in 2003 the promotion named "Local Kombat" and after six months he already got the media attention and huge ratings on live broadcast television networks.
From Asia to America, we are waiting you to become our partner in the biggest movement of a new SUPERKOMBAT® WGP series.
In essence, the company is looking for regional talent in all fields - fighters, trainers, fight clubs, managers, promoters - anyone who is looking to become a part of this global expansion. It's a smart move, focusing on collaboration, not competition. That's a tactic that's been used by kickboxing companies in the past to great success. K-1 created a global network largely by working closely with local promoters, and here, Superkombat looks to try something similar.
If you are involved in the fight game, and you want in on this, Superkombat wants you. Get all the details at their website, and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more. They'll be announcing partners February 1, so get in touch soon.
This news comes not long after their other huge collaboration announcement, which is that Superkombat is now officially aligned with both K-1 and WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organizations - the major international governing body for amateur kickboxing). We already saw some results of this collaboration in the final Superkombat GP of the year, which was billed as being presented together with K-1. They have drafted a public cooperation agreement, which you can read here. Basically, they will co-promote each other's brands exclusively, plus help each other promote events around the world. Though not official, the general opinion is that behind the scenes, Superkombat President Eduard Irimia is now essentially running K-1 as well.
Whether that's true or not, the companies are now linked together in what should be a very beneficial relationship. You get the promotional skills of Superkombat, the name recognition of K-1, and the international credentials of WAKO, which makes for a very powerful entity who stands to make a serious mark in the kickboxing business in 2013.
If this all pans out, expect big things from Superkombat in 2013, as the international kickboxing scene gets increasingly interesting.