Combate Americas hopes to capitalize on the “El Clasico” soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid with the “Combate Clasico.”
While Dana White has long had an antagonistic view towards soccer (also known as football to everyone outside the United States), Combate Americas holds a different position, instead looking to capitalize off the world’s most popular sport.
On July 29 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, fútbol powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona will meet in the preseason “El Clasico.” Not only are they the two top teams in the Spanish League, La Liga, but they are two of the most valuable sporting franchises in the world (ranked number 3 and number 5 by Forbes last year.) The match, which marks the clubs’ first meeting in North America and the first outside of Spain since 1982, is part of the International Champions Cup. For this “El Clasico” contest a whole week of activities have been scheduled, turning it into something like Super Bowl Week. Included amongst the festivities will be a Combate Americas’ event on July 27, which they are calling the “Combate Clasico.”
The “Combate Clasico” is booked to be a 10-bout event at Mana Wynwood, with the main event a match between two fighters, Abner “Skullman” Lloveras (20-9-1) of Barcelona and Javier Fuentes (9-4) of Madrid, representing the two teams’ Spanish home cities. It might be a gimmick but that doesn’t mean it isn’t smart and the right thing to do.
Combate Americas started with pretty much the same pitch as Bjorn Rebney did with Bellator – that it would target the under-served American Latino audience. While Rebney quickly moved away from that business model after leaving ESPN Deportes, Combate Americas has stuck with it. They’ve found success in Mexico, where they are drawing up to 4 million viewers a week, but obviously face much greater competition in the US.
One way to separate themselves from all the others working in the UFC shadows would be by hitching their wagons to two massively popular sports franchises. They’ll be looking for “El Clasico” to help promote their “Combate Clasico” as part of the weeks activities. Hats off on a simple and cost effective way to get their name out there.
Combate Americas CEO and UFC co-founder Campbell McLaren sent out a statement regarding the event: “We are excited to be working with Relevent Sports and the International Champions Cup to bring the Combate Americas brand of electrifying, professional Hispanic MMA action to Miami. This promises to be a phenomenal week of live sports and music, culminating in a historic showdown between the world’s two biggest soccer powerhouses.”