clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Attention Promoters: This Is How You Promote Local Mixed Martial Arts Shows

From an interview with Joseph Cavallaro, the promoter of the local Massachusetts show "World Championship Fighting": Who is putting down money to come see your shows?
Cavallaro: It's funny because we need the hardcore mixed martial arts fans. We need that. We have to have a base of guys that read Sherdog, guys that go to all the fights. That's great. We definitely need to have them. I love them. I'm one of those guys; I fall into that category. But we need to get outside of that also and capture the people that may know who Chuck Liddell (Pictures) is and may see Rampage on TV, but they haven't actually been to a fight before. It's getting the word out to those people and kind of capturing their imagination. People that have never been to the fights, you don't know what you're missing until you go. I've been going to the fights since I was a little kid. My dad used to bring me. It's been a mainstay in my life. You know, boxing, I watch sumo, I watch everything. Anything to do with fighting, wrestling, I watch it all. When you go live, it strikes something primal in everybody and it's just such a cool experience.

I have a technology background and when I started this, there was a group of people that came to the fights just to support me, guys I had done business with over the years. Those guys come to every fight, and the good thing is those are the guys that buy the expensive tickets. Those are the guys who have the money, who typically wouldn't go to a fight. Almost in the beginning, they're buying a night out. They're buying a night away from their lives. They're buying a night out with the boys for a few beers. And then they come in and see the fights, and they're hooked.

This is precisely how it should be done. On top of this, they know they need some star factor even if they're a small show, so they book local names that have some value, e.g. Dan Lauzon, and they get guest appearances at the show's to capture intrigue. I know they've had Kenny Florian, Marcus Davis and Dana White all attend events. So many promoters forget major key ingredients, but Cavallaro understands that a mix of hardcore fans as well as the casual MMA (read: UFC) fans is the proper recipe. You so often see one neglected for the other, but the truth is, you need them both at the local level.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow