Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Asia's Next MMA Superpower: Legend FC Announces Major Investors

Legend Fighting Championships is one of a few bubbling Asian promotions that are leading a 'changing of the guards' on the AMMA scene. In a continental sport that was once dominated by Japan, Legend FC is putting China on the map. The Chinese MMA promotion has moved swiftly to make their presence known and the latest news out of Hong Kong makes a big statement on both the Asian and international levels.

Legend issued a press release earlier today to announce their newest investors/strategic partners -- CA Media and Diamond Ridge Ventures, LLC. The deal provides Legend with firm financial backing and a support system with access to major business and media outlets.

Legend FC co-founder Michael Haskamp had very ambitious words for Legend FC and the overall Chinese MMA community when I spoke with him a couple of months ago. Michael and his partner Chris Pollak are MBA graduates from NYU, and their partnership with successful business leaders definitely proves their business smarts.

This is one small big step for Legend FC, one giant leap for Chinese MMA...

Oh yeah, don't forget to catch Legend FC 5 this Saturday! Hit up Legend FC website for more details.

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Legend FC's press release announcing new partners:

HONG KONG (July 13, 2011) – Legend Fighting Championship (Legend), Asia's leading producer of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) entertainment, today announced a strategic investment led by CA Media, LP (CA Media), the Asian division of US-based The Chernin Group, LLC. Diamond Ridge Ventures, LLC (DRV) also invested in the financing round. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2009, Legend has already hosted four world-class events in Hong Kong and is now expanding to Macau, where it will host the first of a series of four events on July 16, 2011 at City of Dreams, Macau's leading integrated casino and entertainment destination. Legend's strategy is to bring together national champion MMA fighters from throughout the Asia-Pacific to compete in elite-level MMA tournaments at select locations in the region. Legend was co-founded by Michael Haskamp and Chris Pollak, both of whom are Managing Directors of the business.

CA Media and DRV's investment will enable Legend to continue to grow with a more expansive and ambitious event schedule. With the support of CA Media and DRV, Legend will aggressively broaden its television and digital media distribution, and build its sponsor relationships, affiliated content and licensed offerings. Paul Aiello, the CEO of CA Media and former CEO of Star TV and Josh Swartz, DRV Managing Director and former Wasserman Media Group COO will join Legend's Board of Directors.

Commenting on the partnership with Legend, Chairman of CA Media Peter Chernin said, "We are committed to helping Legend develop its high-quality MMA offering into the leading and most exciting martial arts franchise coming out of Asia—the original home of martial arts—and onto the world stage."

Haskamp and Pollak noted that "CA Media brings a tremendous depth of industry experience and capabilities across media and sports, both globally and here in Asia. As a strategic partner, they are uniquely positioned to help us scale our business in production, distribution, sponsorship and licensing."

Aiello added: "Legend's strong track record of audience and reputational growth make them the natural partner to help us raise MMA to the level of popularity in Asia that it has already achieved elsewhere in the world. We are confident that Chris and Mike's passion, energy and integrity, together with CA Media's experience in building media and entertainment businesses, will help Legend become the undisputed leader in MMA content originating from Asia."

About Legend Fighting Championship
Legend Fighting Championship is the first professional Mixed Martial Arts competition to focus exclusively on talent from the pan-Asia Pacific region. Legend invites national champion MMA fighters from throughout the Asia-Pacific to compete in elite-level tournaments organized under a strict set of rules designed to promote professional sportsmanship and athlete safety. Legend is committed to promoting the sport of MMA throughout the Asia-Pacific; to supporting and cultivating its fighters; and to providing exceptional entertainment to a broad audience. For more information on Legend, please visit www.legendfc.com.

About CA Media, LP
Peter Chernin founded Chernin Entertainment and The Chernin Group in 2009. Chernin Entertainment produces television programs and feature films. The Chernin Group manages, operates and invests in businesses in the media, entertainment and technology sectors. In November 2010, The Chernin Group launched CA Media, LP which aims to strategically build, manage and operate media, entertainment, leisure and technology businesses throughout Asia. Based in Hong Kong, CA Media is building a regional footprint focused on India, China and the rest of Asia. For more information on CA Media, please visit www.camedialp.com.

About Diamond Ridge Ventures, LLC
Diamond Ridge Ventures, LLC (DRV) was founded in 2010 to explore opportunities in sports and media. The DRV team is actively seeking companies in sports and entertainment looking for investment and operational leverage. DRV partners have expertise in athlete and music management, corporate consulting and sponsorship sales and currently represent athletes and properties in NASCAR, mixed martial arts and music. For more information on DRV please visit www.DiamondRidgeVentures.com.

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