Professional Fighters League | GM-Challenger Series; Washington D.C., San Francisco, or Los Angeles

The GM – Challenger Series must be a driven, high-energy, hands-on business builder. This is the only other role at the PFL other than the CEO who has “full span of control over an entire business” as this role is running the parallel “new discovery” league. This leadership role will chart what it means to be the first ever sports league for the digital consumer. This leader will be responsible for building the direct-to-consumer audience through social and non-paid channels. This is the opportunity to establish the business and audience model by which all sports leagues will look to for the next generation of programming, content, revenue, and fan engagement strategies. The resources are far greater than typical for a small company, including access to an ownership group that consists of NBA, MLB, and NHL owners; founders of e-sports and gaming companies; and venture capitalists who have built disruptive billion-dollar consumer companies.

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Background:

About the Company

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is an innovative national professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league. The PFL is bringing the proven sports league format to MMA for the first time ever – with a regular season, playoffs, and championship. The PFL is the first sports league for the digital generation. The owners and leadership team of the league are focused on building the “disrupter” brand that will establish the business and consumer model for the next generation of sports and media. The ownership group consists of well-capitalized individuals with deep expertise in sports, media, and digital. They purchased the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) in January 2017 to acquire the PFL’s foundation as WSOF had successfully promoted 35 MMA events (250 fights) the past 5 years on NBC Sports Network.

The new league will debut February 2018 with major TV distribution and digital platform partner.

About Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

MMA is already the “fourth major” sport in the US, trailing only the NFL, NBA, MLB in terms of audience. MMA is the fastest growing sport (especially with millennials) and its audience is highly engaged (MMA is #2 all sports on both Facebook and Twitter). MMA is truly global. MMA is seen in over 150 countries worldwide by over 1 billion fans monthly. Along with basketball and soccer, MMA is one of the only sports that has participants from over 100 countries. MMA is only 20 years old in the US, and to date has been a niche sport. MMA is crossing over to become mainstream and is entering the period where audience explodes and massive value can be created. Now is the time in markets that new entrants can take significant share. UFC sold last summer to WME for over $4 billion and is the dominant player in MMA (95% share), but is significantly hampered.

About This Role

This GM – Challenger Series is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the executive who has dreamed about building at the intersection of sports, media, and digital. This opportunity is to lead an entire league and build it from the ground up. The Challenger Series is the parallel “new discovery” league to the PFL – analogous to the xFinity Series in NASCAR or the Nike Tour for the PGA. The control of all the levers of an entire league makes this role different from all others in sports or media. The league controls the decisions on everything, including: product, format, athletes, marketing, distribution, business model, industry positions, promotions.  This allows for massive innovation and disruption across the value-chain and product offering. The GM – Challenger Series will lead and manage the strategic, operating, and business decisions of the Challenger Series – including product, format, marketing, distribution, rules, athletes, business model, industry positions, international, and expansion. It is expected that the GM will be a leader, who, through creativity will create buzz daily.

The GM – Challenger Series will serve as the face and spokesman of it to fans, athletes, and media.

Summary:

The GM – Challenger Series must be a driven, high-energy, hands-on business builder. This is the only other role at the PFL other than the CEO who has “full span of control over an entire business” as this role is running the parallel “new discovery” league. This leadership role will chart what it means to be the first ever sports league for the digital consumer. This leader will be responsible for building the direct-to-consumer audience through social and non-paid channels. This is the opportunity to establish the business and audience model by which all sports leagues will look to for the next generation of programming, content, revenue, and fan engagement strategies. The resources are far greater than typical for a small company, including access to an ownership group that consists of NBA, MLB, and NHL owners; founders of e-sports and gaming companies; and venture capitalists who have built disruptive billion-dollar consumer companies.

Peers:

  • President, Business Operations (DC)
  • President, Fighter Operations (Las Vegas)
  • EVP, Executive Producer (LA)
  • EVP, Sponsorship (remote)

Note: GM has full discretion to hire/organize their team

Responsibilities:

  • Build, lead and manage all aspects of this start-up, entrepreneurial, revolutionary, content-driven business
  • Define the Challenger Series brand and build it to become culturally relevant; create social engagement and build an audience community; promote the brand creatively and innovatively
  • Recruit a small team that is highly nimble and scrappy; instill a sense of pride, passion, dedication, loyalty and cohesiveness within team members ensuring a close, collegial working environment
  • Chart a content and programming plan across multiple social/media channels
  • Select and implement platform and technology to create, deliver, market product
  • Establish the product offering, athlete strategy, and business plan; oversee the adequacy and soundness of the organization’s overall financial structure
  • Establish platforms for title sponsors and create value-additional assets and inventory for integrated revenue partners
  • Solicit and build ongoing support from individual athletes, gyms, the grassroots community, marketing partners, media partners and other stakeholders; manage relationships with key third-party partners
  • Serve as a “public face” and spokesman of the Challenger Series

Requirements:

  • Must be a business-builder. Building companies requires the #1 priority in the ideal candidate’s life at this time in this job.
  • This role requires all the skills of being a CEO – but aggressive, high-potential candidates who have not yet proven themselves in a CEO role previously will be considered; must be willing to roll-up sleeves and delve into all aspects of the business; no job is too big or too small for this leader.
  • The PFL is a sports and media property, therefore, this person will be responsible for building an audience and the brand across multiple channels and then developing and executing strategies for monetizing it with partners and sponsors.
  • The PFL mission is to be the first sports league for the digital generation. Any candidate must have experience, expertise, and passion for digital and social content, distribution, and marketing.
  • The PFL is a “disrupter” brand – so we are seeking individuals who are themselves disrupters.

Other requirements include:

  • Digital Experience: Proven experience in digital and social is a must.
  • Proven Builder: Proven track record as a leader who has built something. Must have had full responsibility.
  • Swat-Team: Ability to build, manage, energize a small swat team. Do a lot with a little.
  • Player-Coach: This is very hands-on job, so this person must be a doer. Willingness to get hands dirty and do it themselves.
  • Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurial experience preferred; entrepreneurial spirit required.
  • Grass-Roots: Challenger Series is like American Idol – the PFL chance for breakout grass roots growth; the leader must understand the purpose of grass-roots development
  • Passion for Sports: Prior sports industry experience is required.
  • All-In On This Job: This job must be the one you have been looking for and be your #1 priority 24/7 if you take it.

Capabilities:

Drives Results

  • Can/will get hands dirty, we are a small company.
  • Creates nimble teams with clear goals who can execute.
  • Makes fast decisions and has excellent judgement.

Strategic Thinking

  • Very current in relevant ecosystems of digital media and social media.
  • Looks for non-linear growth in everything. This is not about incremental.
  • Listens to input, but is an independent and creative thinker.

Gets-it-Done

  • Type of person who scores points, figures-it-out, makes-it-happen.
  • Expertise and passion in building high-growth consumer businesses.
  • The Challenger Series is a start-up, so must have personal energy to lift it.

Leader

  • Recruit an “A” caliber executive team and build out the rest of the organization.
  • Excellent outside communicator to public and partners as face of league.
  • Establish entrepreneurial spirit (fun, grit, risk-taking, under-dog).

Personal Characteristics

  • Impact-player, game-changer, difference-maker.
  • Must be a likeable person to work with.
  • Passionate about and all-in on this specific opportunity.

Board of Directors:

Donn Davis

Donn led the acquisition of WSOF, assembled the ownership group, and is the visionary of the PFL. Donn co‐founded Revolution LLC and is Partner of Revolution Growth. His career has focused on media and digital, and previous leadership roles include: President/COO of AOL Interactive Properties Group; Chairman/CEO of Exclusive Resorts; Founder/President of Tribune Ventures. He was Chief Counsel for the beloved Chicago Cubs at age 29. Donn is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and University of Michigan Law School.

Russ Ramsey

Russ serves as Executive Chairman, and is point person for the management team. Russ co‐founded Friedman, Billings, Ramsey (FBR) and served as co-CEO for over a decade. Since 2002, Russ has served as CEO and CIO of Ramsey Asset Management. He also serves as Chairman of Washington 2024 to bring the Olympic Games to DC. Russ is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of George Washington University and attended GWU on a baseball scholarship, is a member of its All‐Century Team, and earned his BA in Business.

Mark Leschly

Mark is Managing Partner of Iconica Partners, and a recognized leader in investing at the intersection of sports, media, and technology. Mark is also Owner and Managing Partner of Rho Ventures. Mark is minority owner of Los Angeles Football Club (MLS) and Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA baseball). Mark began his career at McKinsey & Company and is a graduate of Harvard College (BA 1990) and Stanford Business School (MBA 1995). He played professional tennis on the ATP Tour and was selected to the Danish Davis Cup Team.

Bruce Deifik

Bruce is the largest minority shareholder. He was the original venture investor in WSOF and was essential to its early development. Bruce is 25-year successful real estate developer and property operator. Currently Bruce serves as Founder and President of Integrated Properties, Inc. Previously his career included leadership roles as CEO of American Nevada Company and founding partner of Diamond Resorts International. Bruce has been involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic endeavors. Bruce holds a BA in Finance from Texas A & M University.

Carlos Silva

Carlos joined WSOF in August 2015 and serves as President, Business Operations. He is a veteran media executive and proven digital leader with a record of building innovative companies at the convergence of television and online. Previously, Carlos was President of Universal Sports Network. Earlier in his career, Carlos was an executive at AOL, where he was a pioneer in online programming and interactive television. He holds a BS degree from Boston College and a MS degree from George Washington University.

2017-09-05T09:46:17+00:00

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