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Midnight Mania! Financial documents reveal ONE Championship’s statement of income

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

ONE FC- technically ONE Championship now- are an important fighting organization in Asia. They just signed Eddie Alvarez, in their first notable American signing since Ben Askren ended his career there. Their CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, is known for his bold pronouncements. They ARE very good at raising venture capital... but so far, they have been losing money- a lot of money.

Bloody Elbow’s John Nash reported on their financials, and they revealed a company that is yet to live up to its’ promises.

It turns out that while their revenue is growing, ONE’s losses are also growing, reaching an accumulated total of almost $93 million (in Singapore dollars) at the end of 2017. This wouldn’t be entirely unheard of, with the UFC itself reportedly bleeding money in the early years, but the UFC was a rarity in that it eventually turned the ship around. Many MMA promotions have not been as lucky, Nash noting that IFL and Elite XC went down similar paths in terms of losses before eventually closing down.

However, ONE has been able to alleviate concerns by continuing to raise money, closing 2017 with 45 million in the bank, and raising a staggering 260 million Singapore dollars in three offerings of shares. In addition, their revenue has risen year by year- but not as quickly as expenses. ONE spends an ever-increasing stream of cash on consultants and marketing.

Bloody Elbow

Chatri Sityodtong explained how this fit into ONE’s strategy, a slightly more sophisticated version of ‘Fake it till you make it’, but with a fanbase.

“There is no difference between Facebook’s business model and ours. in the first few years, all that Facebook cared about was users. Eventually, when their user base was huge, they could go to advertisers. We care about fans. (Eventually) we will go to broadcasters and advertisers.”

“Reach versus monetization is a trade-off. We have had the benefit of our capital and now investors who see the world our way. We aim to create the purity of engagement, get scale, then monetize at scale,”

It is a strategy that could still pay off- and for the sake of international competition for MMA fighters like Eddie Alvarez, let’s hope it does.


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