Exclusive: Total Sports Asia Boss & Glory Director Marcus Luer Talks To BJPENN.COM About His Franchise And Tomorrow’s Event
Marcus Luer is the Founder & Group CEO of Total Sports Asia & Managing Director of GLORY Sports International, the leading Stand up fighting League in the world. It is not an MMA organization, nor is it boxing. It’s an international kickboxing juggernaut called GLORY and they have momentum, finances, and talent to back them up. GLORY has come a long way since it began and Marcus thinks he knows why.
“Fighting sports in the past, they’ve struggled to establish themselves and be profitable. The problem has always been lack of funding. If you compare a $300,000 tournament in our sport to a tournament in sports like golf or things like that – it’s a very small event. The top tennis players wouldn’t even show up to a tournament with that prize. Why aren’t big money prizes in kickboxing and other sports. The money behind it hasn’t been there because there hasn’t been enough television, funding, and advertising in place to make those events happen and to pay that money out”.
The GLORY World Series (gloryworldseries-px.rtrk.co.uk) is the world’s premier stand-up fighting league, staging events across the globe and offering up to $1,000,000 in prize money to successful fighters in 16-man grand prix tournaments which are open to only the very best fighters in each weight class.
With television deals spanning every continent plus a ground-breaking online video streaming system and the world’s largest online martial arts library, GLORY is one of the world’s most widely-broadcast sporting organizations already.
Owned and operated by Glory Sports International (GSI), the organization has offices in Holland, the UK, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Its personnel include prominent hedge-fund investors, the pioneering sports marketing agency Total Sport Asia and several executives from the Golden Glory and It’s Showtime team.
The promotion was originally known as Ultimate Glory before a lawsuit with Zuffa, the company behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship, forced a name change to United Glory.
Their first major event, Ultimate Glory 11: A Decade of Fights, was held at Amsterdam Centraal on October 17, 2009 and was headlined by Alexey Ignashov and Semmy Schilt. It also featured a host of other top stars such as Nieky Holzken, Ruslan Karaev, Alistair Overeem and Errol Zimmerman. This event was shown on the HDNet television network.
The 2010-2011 Glory World Series began. It featured an MMA tournament and kickboxing tournament. The first event was held in Amsterdam and the second in Charleroi, Belgium. The finals took place in Moscow, Russia in May 2011 at United Glory 14, where Gokhan Saki won the kickboxing tournament and Siyar Bahadurzada won the MMA tournament.
Glory has morphed since then in to a global powerhouse with an impressive stable of fighters. They’ve picked up stars like Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, Gokhan Saki, Errol Zimmerman, Jerome Le Banner, Giorgio Petrosyan, and Remy Bonjasky to stack their cards with talent.
On Saturday, October 6, 2012 his hiatus will come to an end and ‘The Flying Gentleman’ will climb between the ropes and square off with one of the sport’s brightest rising stars, Brazilian standout Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva (32-7, 22 KO’s). The bout headlines ‘GLORY 2 Brussels’ at Vorst National Arena, the biggest kickboxing event in Brussels history.
Marcus took time out of a whirlwind overseas tour to talk to BJPenn.com. Here is the video interview in full.