Earlier this week, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha surprised me with a special award for my contributions to Thailand and…
Time To Celebrate!
When I started ONE Championship in 2011, I always envisioned a day when our athletes, our press conferences, and our events would garner worldwide attention. I just never imagined that it would happen so quickly. 2017 has been a breakout year in many ways for ONE Championship. Every key metric (social media video views, TV ratings, broadcast hours, etc) that underpins our business has broken record highs by multiple folds with exponential growth. Today was no different. Thank you to the hundreds of media from all over the world who attended the press conference for ONE Championship’s big show this Friday November 24 in Singapore!
The energy at the press conference was absolutely insane at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. It was buzzing with anticipation, excitement, and adrenaline. Friday’s big show includes some of the world’s best martial artists like Ben Askren, Shinya Aoki, Amir Khan, Adrian Pang, and many others. It takes thousands of hours of training to forge the skills of a world-class martial artist, but it really is only the beginning for most of them when they step onto the global stage of ONE Championship. We want to share their inspirational life stories with the world. You see, the vast majority of World Champions come from poverty, tragedy, and adversity. And yet, they somehow find a way to conquer impossible odds to achieve their dreams in life. Our mission is to unleash these real life superheroes so that they may ignite the world with inspiration, hope, strength, and dreams. Life might be full of suffering and tragedy, but it is also full of beauty and love.
ONE Championship is a celebration of Asia’s greatest cultural treasure, and its deep-rooted Asian values of integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, and discipline. Asia has been the home of martial arts for 5,000 years, and it is time to unite as a continent behind our history, our culture, our tradition, our values, and our heroes.
As Asia’s largest global sports media property, ONE Championship is sitting on a multibillion dollar opportunity. Every region in the world, except for Asia, has multibillion dollar sports media properties. North America has NFL, MLB, NBA, and UFC. Europe has EPL, Formula ONE, Bundesliga, and La Liga. Asia has nothing – literally nothing. There are no Asian sports media properties with live events on a pan-Asian basis with a global broadcast, except for ONE Championship. Other than soccer, there has never been a sport in Asia that has been able to transcend geographic, socioeconomic, language, and cultural barriers across the entire continent. As a result, we have almost no role models and real life superheroes in Asia.
Through ONE Championship, I am betting that martial arts is the only other sport that can transcend all of that and more; it has the rare combination of local relevance and global appeal. Asia has been the home of martial arts for the last 5,000 years. There is a native martial art in almost every country across Asia: Kung Fu in China, Taekwondo in Korea, Karate in Japan, Sambo in Russia, Muay Thai in Thailand, Silat in Indonesia, and so forth. Martial arts is already woven deeply into the fabric of Asian society, culture, and history. Asia has a population of 4.4 billion people with 2 billion viewers in the same time zone. It is the largest media market in the world in terms of potential viewers. With fast-rising GDP per capita over the next 10, 20, 30 years and beyond, it is only a matter of time before Asia becomes the largest media market in the world in terms of economic value. Within that context, live sports is rapidly evolving into the only “must-have” killer content across all platforms. Technology is in the process of destroying the traditional media industry as we know it, thereby increasing the economic importance and strategic value of live sports content to all traditional and digital media broadcasters. Every form of media content, except for live sports, can now be consumed on-demand anytime on multiple platforms. Live sports is the only irreplaceable draw for viewers, subscribers, advertisers, sponsors, etc. As an entrepreneur, I feel like the luckiest entrepreneur in the world to be sitting here with the right product at the right time in the right place with all of these various macroeconomic and industry forces colliding in my favor.
It’s time to celebrate this Friday! We are ONE.