End of year Report: ACB

Continuing with our appraisals of mixed martial arts promotions in an end of year school report style it’s time for Absolute Championship Berkut or as it’s known in the playground ACB.

Big name acquisitions, huge cards and massive bonuses, ACB have really attempted to give their competitors a run for their money. ACB have literally bullied their way onto the scene in an almost unapologetic fashion all for the benefit of the sport. ACB’s record here is impeccable. Not only has the ‘stalking horse of mixed martial arts promotions’ shown on an almost weekly basis it’s committed to the saturation of its brand to take place at a staggering rate. Shows are seemingly popping up on almost every single corner of the planet and the promotion shows no signs of slowing down. If the Q1 fight cards announced are anything to go by ACB fully intends to increase its dominance.

ACB has run rings around more seasoned mixed martial arts promotions and left many of them with bloodied noses having enticed athletes to help build their fight roster with ever increasing ferocity. ACB represent a credible threat to those promotions seeking a piece of the MMA pie and have shown they are keen to forge alliances with the strongest and like minded outfits which they have done more recently when sharing talent with KSW, widely seen as the market leader.

However, despite the worldwide abundance of shows it puts on ACB are still struggling to pack out arenas in the UK.  Attendance at shows so far have not matched the stellar matchmaking of their cards. To their credit in recent shows bums on seats appear to be on an upward trajectory and with more brand building in the UK, which no doubt will happen in 2018, they will attain those lofty heights enjoyed by KSW.

Social Development
ACB’s interaction with the media needs work, lots of work. Initially the standard fare of press releases, shareable media and pre-fight videos and news of new fighter signings were hitting inboxes regularly, these days…not so much.  ACB initially cultivated great relationships with media outlets but they now appear to lack the manpower to facilitate what started of as sterling media relations. In 2018 this will need addressing swiftly should the promotion want to continue to build its brand and its fanbase.

Attention to detail
The organisations tag line ‘less show more fighting’ waves the banner for its brand values loud and clear. It’s not trying to be slick, there will be no razzmatazz its attention is firmly fixed on delivering explosive fights, fantastic rewards for its roster in big fight purses and added rewards for those participating in exciting fights with even greater financial rewards by way of bonuses. They have this mix firmly nailed down and are clear that their development is clearly in tune with fighter performance and crowd satisfaction.

Overall Mark A+
ACB’s rise to prominence is a blueprint by which not just new upstart promotions should follow but those looking to enhance their market share in terms of audience growth and acquiring a decent roster should embrace. If there were one area that they should concentrate on it would be in telling their roster’s backstory using video and audio letting the public care a little bit more about why they should support their athletes journey and invest even further by way of attention in their future. With markets like Sweden, Amsterdam and Ireland rumored to be on the horizon to  coin a well worn phrase its pretty clear they are not here to take part…ACB are here to take over.

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