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Marc Ecko Enterprises encourages NY to turn a profit from MMA

Peter Lampasona
04 February 2010
Marc Ecko Enterprises encourages NY to turn a profit from MM...
Apparel mogul, MMA fan, and New Jersey native Marc Ecko has his heart set on making a lot of money off the sport of MMA, and hopes that the state and citizens of New York will do the same. Earlier this year, Ecko created a micro-documentary, Legalize MMA in NY, about the legislative proceedings in sanctioning mixed martial arts in New York and Toronto. Since the politically motivated documentary released on Youtube, Ecko’s MMA clothing line, aptly named EckoMMA, has engaged in cooperative efforts with combat sports related websites and blogs, including Mid-Atlantic Combat Sports, to promote the short film and its pro-MMA message.

EckoMMA’s brand manager, Eric Sampson, is the first to admit that commercial opportunities presented by MMA coming to New York are tied to his company’s interests. In fact, that’s how MMA and sports, in general, function.

“In order for a sport to thrive, it needs to be commercially viable,” said Sampson. “There is no cause over profit pretense with us. We started in MMA because we love it and were hopeful that it was viable and it was. The MMA fans are great and support the brands that support the sport. That's why our budgets increase and we're able to continue to sponsor fighters and promote awareness on causes like legalizing MMA in NY.”

Major sponsors like EckoMMA aren’t the only ones set to get a boost from the sanctioning of mixed martial arts in the Empire State. With the latest bill to sanction MMA in New York being part of New York State Governor Paterson’s budget proposal, the business side of MMA has been a major focus on bringing it into the state.

“MMA has proven itself to be incredibly profitable for the local economy,” Sampson continued on discussing the monetary impact of the sport. “…its comforting to see certain businesses doing so well in such difficult times. The UFC is one such business and NY would be wise to open its doors and welcome the UFC and, with it, some jobs for New Yorkers and some much needed dollars for local businesses that are struggling.”

Sampson did add that the reasoning for creating a documentary over more conventional ways to help the sport’s cause was tied to the personality of the company’s CEO.

“Part of Marc [Ecko]'s personality and the DNA of the brand is to bring issues of the people to the forefront; to be the fan with a voice,” said Sampson. “When we realized that [sanctioning of MMA] wasn't getting done fast enough, we knew we needed to get involved. This film and the “legalize MMA” t-shirt are just the beginning for us. We will take steps beyond to help build awareness about MMA and its right to hold events in NY.”

The argument has been made on several occasions that the over-focus on the money MMA can bring into New York has been the cause for amateur MMA and other important concerns for developing the sport in the area to take a back seat to simply bringing in high-level professional fights. However, local businesses’ financial success through the sport is as much a final outcome of MMA as the fights themselves, and also can not be ignored.

While EckoMMA has initially set its activist sites on Toronto and New York, the brand does have every intention on expanding its efforts to other markets where the battle for sanctioning is still being fought. In addition to its presence on youtube, Legalize MMA in NY can be viewed directly from the MATCS navigation.
Last Modified:
04 February 2010

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