The Professional Fighters League, the USA-based mixed martial arts series that features a regular season and playoffs, has appointed Derek Chang to its board of directors.
Chang is the current chief executive of Friends MTS, a leading provider of content protection technology, and was formerly the chief executive of NBA China.
In the latter role, he was responsible for raising the profile of the top basketball league in China, including through partnerships with the likes of domestic digital and telecoms giants such as Tencent, Alibaba, Vivo, ByteDance and China Mobile Migu.
He has also held executive positions with Scripps Networks Interactive, DirecTV, Charter Communications, YES Network and TCI , and remains on the boards of Liberty Media Corp. and Isos Acquisition Corp.
The PFL is hopeful the new board member will help accelerate the growth of the league worldwide, with chairman and founder Donn Davis saying: “Derek is the rare international sports and media executive with vision of the vast opportunities for sports leagues in the global world. And, importantly, Derek’s sterling reputation and extensive business relationships can help PFL forge partnerships and chart expansion worldwide.”
Chang added: “PFL has a top notch management team who are creating the makings of a major global sports league and entertainment brand. While early days, PFL has already delivered a unique, innovative, and premium product to its fans, fighters, sponsors and media partners. I am thrilled to help them scale the business and brand globally in the rapidly growing MMA space.”
Meanwhile, the UFC, the top mixed martial arts series, has opened up a new sponsorship channel through a deal with US truck manufacturer Battle Motors.
Under the agreement announced on Monday, Battle has become the official light duty truck of the UFC, but also the presenting partner of the series’ light heavyweight division.
It is the first time that UFC has sold rights to a particular weight division, and presents a new opportunity across its inventory.
Battle will receive a branded presence on the octagon canvas at selected UFC events, and benefit from integrations within UFC content on linear and digital platforms, including live broadcasts, pay-per-view events and social media assets.
More specifically, the sponsor’s branding will be integrated into marketing material related to the light heavyweight division, including main card bouts on UFC PPV broadcasts, and, within the arena, there will be a Battle Motors brigade section, a seating area near the octagon reserved for front-line industrial workers.
Welcoming the new tie-up, Paul Asencio, senior vice president, global partnerships at UFC, said: “We love creating innovative partnerships, like this one with Battle Motors, that gives us the opportunity to provide extraordinary value to our sponsors. We’re looking forward to helping Battle Motors reach more customers than ever through the power of the UFC brand.”
Elsewhere, One Esports, the esports venture of One Championship, the Singapore-based MMA series, has agreed a partnership with social data app Tinder.
Under the agreement, Tinder is to integrate various experiences in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang game for fans in Southeast Asia, which will be accessible through its app.
In addition, Tinder is launching ‘Esports Passion’, a new initiative to help connect members interested in gaming and esports in the region.