The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the US-based mixed martial arts (MMA) series, has today (February 23) announced a new regional partnership agreement with sports betting operator 1xBet.
As part of the deal, the firm will become the official sportsbook partner for PFL in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Additional elements of the agreement include broadcast integrations in those respective markets and custom social content. Four of the league’s fighters will also serve as brand ambassadors for 1xBet.
Fans will be able to wager on the upcoming 2023 PFL regular season, PFL Playoffs, and PFL World Championship, as well as the ongoing PFL Challenger Series and the inaugural season of PFL Europe.
Meanwhile, the series has appointed Bryan Calka as its new chief commercial officer.
In the role, he will lead the growth of PFL's global sponsorship portfolio, media sales, and licensing business.
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Calka has more than 20 years of experience in the sports industry, most recently serving as senior vice president of global partnerships for the New York Islanders NHL ice hockey franchise.
He has also held executive leadership positions with BSE Global, the parent company of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, as well as the iconic Major League Baseball franchise the New York Yankees.
Peter Murray, PFL chief executive, said: "Bryan has led sponsorship sales and marketing efforts for some of the world's premier sports organizations and his experience combined with passion to create integrated partnerships with leading brands will bolster PFL's global business."
Calka added: "I am thrilled to be joining the Professional Fighters League at such a pivotal moment in the history of the company. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the fastest-growing league in the world which is positioned to continue to redefine how fans consume sport.
“MMA is mainstream and truly global with over 630 million young and diverse fans and I am looking forward to leveraging the momentum that [domestic broadcast partner] ESPN and the PFL have created to build meaningful and innovative brand partnerships."