Sporticast: ONE Championship Founder on Growing a Global Martial Arts Circuit

·1 min read

On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams speak with Chatri Sityodtong, founder and CEO of ONE Championship, a global promoter of mixed martial arts, muay thai and kickboxing events.

Sityodtong discusses his path to founding ONE Championship, including a period during his time at Harvard Business School when his mother was living in his dorm room. He worked in investing for a number of years before giving that up to launch ONE Championship, which has quickly grown into Asia’s largest MMA promoter.

The company, which also calls itself “Asia’s largest sports media property,” has emphasized new forms of content, particularly on mobile, where the founder says combat sports have a distinct advantage over leagues like the NFL or MLB because the action is easier to follow on a smaller screen. It also has a younger demographic. Almost 90% of ONE Championship’s fans are Millenials or Gen Z, as compared to about 20% for the NFL and 35% for the NBA, according to Sityodtong.

He also discusses ONE Championship’s next expansion, into the U.S., where it hopes to hold its first event later this year. He also talks about his openness to partner with UFC, the biggest MMA promoter in the U.S., on endeavors down the road.

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