Combate Americas lands HUGE hire
Going head to head with the UFC has proven to be an interesting way to make a small fortune, by starting with a large one. However, it’s possible to do MMA on the league – to not fight the UFC where they are strongest. AXS TV Fights put a national brand on thriving regional events, Invicta FC focused on women in all division, and now Combate Americas is delivering our sport to the fight-loving Hispanic market.
Combate Americas was founded by Campbell McLaren, one of the co-founders of the UFC. And they just made a huge hire. Sports industry business development and sponsorship sales leader Mike Pine has been named Combate America’s first-ever Chief Revenue Officer.
Pine was responsible for breaking unprecedented ground for the UFC by securing blue-chip advertising clients Bud Light and Harley Davidson. He is coming off a two-and-a-half-year tenure as GM, Integrated Partnerships for FanDuel.
During his stint at FanDuel, Pine compiled an impressive roster of first-ever landmark industry advertising partners for the online daily fantasy sports platform, including Bud Light, FORD Motor Company, Corona Extra, HBO Sports, Chef’s Cut, and Bacardi.
Prior to that, as Global Head of Sales & Partnerships for the WWE, Pine forged and developed a host of relationships with leading consumer electronic, retail and food brands, including Norelco, XBOX, Footlocker, KMART and General Mills.
Before his time with WWE, Pine led and oversaw the development of globally renowned agency IMG’s NCAA collegiate sports. His time at IMG was preceded by Global Chief Sales Officer at IRONMAN, and before that he served as Senior Director of Sales / Business Development at Turner Broadcasting. Pine is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike Pine, an authentic trailblazer in the world of sports and entertainment brand partnerships, to Combate Americas,” said McLaren. “Mike’s incredible track record, and extensive book of high-level relationships with marketers from worldwide, renowned brands across a wide range of product categories, speak for themselves, and we are looking forward to having him spearheading our sales efforts as we continue to aggressively expand our footprint across the globe with a fast-growing schedule of live and special events, and television programming for 2018 and beyond.”
Pine will be responsible for building Combate Americas’ portfolio of sponsor partners which, to date, has included the U.S. Army; Aspira A Mas, a Hispanic consumer-targeted offshoot of health insurance industry giant IHC; and consumer electronics pioneer Altec Lansing, across the organizations’ year-round live television event series in the U.S., Mexico and overseas.
Combate Americas television programming airs weekly, including once per month live, in over 137 million homes across the U.S. and Mexico on Azteca America and TV Azteca, respectively, and has been averaging over 3.5 million viewers per episode since “Combate Azteca” premiered in November.
The franchise’s monthly live events also air in an additional 47 million plus homes across Latin America on ESPN LATAM, and its most recent event, “Combate Clásico,” a partnership with Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross’ RSE Ventures that took place on July 27, two days before RSE’s “El Clásico Miami” soccer match between legendary clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, ushered the Latino flavored brand to national television in Spain for the first time ever with coverage of the nine-bout fight card in over 20 million homes on the country’s popular sports network, GOL TV.