This post is from guest blogger Joe Favorito:
One of the sports that continues to have perceived growth and potential is Mixed Martial Arts, and although the sport continues to flourish with its biggest brand, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), an alphabet soup of companies (EliteXC, IFL, AFL, to name a few) have made runs at cashing in on the growing sport.
But most have failed to find a sufficient audience before their funds dried up. What has been left are the local gyms, the apparel companies, and a handful of licensees who have been able to carve a niche and are serving the rabid fans of the sport a steady diet of low coast and innovative products.
One of the biggest coups, and an area of the sport in which the UFC may have been beaten to the punch, so to speak, is the collectibles business, where Markham, Ontario-based startup Round 5 this month is releasing its second series of figurines bearing the likeness of some of MMA's top stars. The company entered the marketplace ahead of the UFC’s deal with JAKKS Pacific this past summer, and by going right to the individual fighters and away from the group licensing deals that most sports have done, kept the UFC away from initial cash in on some of their biggest stars.