EXCLUSIVE: Ken Pavia Talks About Sale Of Client Roster, What’s Next For Athletes And Himself
Ken Pavia is a name synonymous with Mixed Martial Arts fighter management. With a brash personality and a client roster that rivals any and all management firms, Pavia often found himself under scrutiny from MMA fans, promoters and sometimes even his fighters.
The owner/founder of MMAgents, he once held a client roster of fighters that boasted 55 of MMA’s elite talent. Then one day, he sold it…
At first, I chalked up the sale to being done with the business, having been the brunt of bad jokes and some bad press, I just assumed that Pavia was tired of the business and found a way out, however that was not the case.
Upon talking to Ken I realized that, he made a business move that was better for himself, better for his fighters and better for the sport of MMA. He sold off his client roster to Paradigm management, a bold move that would allow him to free up his time for his new project at Takedown Entertainment and simultaneously give his clients more services.
“I was approached by Paradigm sports which is a large football agency that has had success in main stream sports and I felt that I could provide a limited number of services as a firm and as the sport grows I wanted to provide my clients with even more services,” Pavia stated when questioned about his reasoning behind selling off his company.
“Giving them access to a larger firm they were going to get everything they would get from me plus more and that coupled with a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Takedown Entertainment sort of inspired me to make the jump.”
Now, imagine you are a fighter who has grown accustomed to your manager and the relationship you have with the man and his company, than waking up one day to find out you’ve been sold off?
For some it may have been a welcomed change, for others it may have been a tough pill to swallow, but for all 55 guys on Ken’s roster, he has made a commitment to still be involved in their careers and will not easily let go of those relationships.
“I don’t think I’m losing relationships with any of them, said Ken. I still have a phone and they still have a phone and I’ll still be involved in helping guide their careers. I think I’ve really created a special relationship with all 55 of them. We are still friends and I’ll still be called on for guidance and consulting. I’ll be involved in a limited consulting role for a couple of years. I’ll be helping in the area of coaching and career guidance.”
“I’ve forged a lifelong friendship with those guys. Initially maybe there was a little bit of resistance but as I explained that it was a value added win win and they were getting everything they have plus more I think they saw it for what it was which is an opportunity.”
The big news in the entire ordeal is that Ken has moved on to take on a new role at Takedown Entertainment, a start up production company that is not only publicly traded ,but well funded and ready to deliver 40 televised Mixed Martial Arts events to a global audience in 2012.
“Our goal next year is to shoot 40 live MMA events. We will be using NFL level graphics, proficient announcers a very similar look and provide a consistent product to potential investment partners across the globe,” stated Ken.
“Takedown entertainment is an entertainment broadcast company. They are going to be filming approximately five or six shows this year for our Beta season. We are not sure if or when they will be aired. They will be utilized to show large domestic and international potential broadcast partners that have approached us and want to see a finished product.”
It’s difficult for an MMA organization that does five or six shows a year to gain a national television deal, simply because of consistency in programming. What Takedown Entertainment tries to do is Aggregate a number of triple A level MMA organizations and provide a consistent 4 weeks of programming that we can than package up and sell to distribution partners.”
With his new gig already underway and his fighter roster sold off, I wanted to know what his role is exactly with Takedown and he responded…
“I am the vice-president of business development; my role specifically is in the area of promoter relations. Helping to secure promotions and getting them to sign letters of intent and ultimately final agreements, monitoring those relationships and making sure we have a steady flow of opportunities of shows to shoot on consistent weekends and ultimately I’ll be delving into the areas of sponsorship procurements and a lot of the opportunities the present themselves through relationships with promoters.”
Sounds like an interesting concept, one that is much needed and will allow MMA fans more fights, and local fighter more exposure. It sounded a lot like HDNet’s, HDNet Fights series, but Ken was quick to correct me when I made the comparison.
“There are some similarities. The general concept is correct, yes. But you know HDNet reaches 50 million homes and we hope to reach hundreds of millions of homes. HDNet works with three or four or five promoters and we have signed, at last count, 30 promotions to letters of intent that want to engage in broadcasting a product over our medium and our goal is to get to as many as 40. Than broadcast the crème de la crème of those 40.”
How will these broadcasts be coined? Will they be coined as a Takedown event or will you give each individual promotion their own shows, I asked him.
“It’s a work in progress, those kind of things are still being decided, that being said, we are going to clearly brand the Takedown product. I think it will be much like Friday Night Fights for MMA. You’ll see on a consistent day, either Friday or Saturday, id assume, you will see a Takedown event that’s branded but I think we will also give credit to the local promotion.
I think you’ll see Takedown presents 10 fights from Finland this weekend, or Takedown presenting XYZ promotion from Iowa this weekend. We tend to do US and international shows every single weekend from somewhere exciting in the world bringing live MMA events for free to the mass public.”
“Takedown actually has three websites, takedown media, takedown fights and takedown fights. On the websites you’ll see a list of 30 or so promotions we have announced.
There is a number I’m sure you heard of already. We are a publicly traded company. The stock symbol is TKEN and we have been public for awhile. We started trading in August 8, we raised a significant amount of capitol and we are capitalized to do this. It’s an exciting time right now.”
Is there anything else you’d like to say that I missed, was my final question?
“I just want to highlight the fact that it’s a public company. There are very few opportunities to invest in the sport of MMA. ProElite and IFL were both public companies that both had a pretty good run. ProElite still trades and there is still opportunity, but there aren’t too many opportunities to be actively involved in the investment side promotional part of the sport and follow the stock.”
And that is all she wrote. It is a known fact that the regional circuits in America are talent rich with fighters looking for their big break, the fights are exciting and plentiful and with his new mission in life, Ken hopes to deliver awesome quality shows to the MMA fans across the globe.