Press ReleasesElite Boxing Reaches Fifth Anniversary
Elite Boxing was officially launched onto the market when it produced the first of its Thailand VS Challenger events in the Royal Paragon Hall of Siam Paragon in Bangkok on January 16 2010. In the five long years since that pioneering event, EB has overcome adversity to establish itself as a major player in the international combat sports industry with a number of high-profile brands under its belt.
Founded by Toli Makris and Seth Fishman, Elite Boxing original aim was to shake of Muaythai’s lowly image and rebrand it as an international sport. While the obstacles to achieving this came from the most unlikely sources and the company was forced to change its strategy at a very early stage, EB can reflect on its five years as being extremely successful in achieving that goal.
The vision for the future of Muaythai was the brainchild of Toli Makris who spent 6 years learning the ropes in the Muaythai industry before partnering with Seth Fishman to launch EB. Working closely with such major players as Songchai Ratanasuban provided Toli with a deep understanding of the sport and the market. However, it could not prepare him fully for the challenges that lay ahead.
When EB staged the Grand Opening of the TVC Series on that January evening in 2010, it was the start of what was to become a rollercoaster ride. Despite the success of the Grand Opening, TVC received zero support from Thai sponsors and media. To add to the problems, Thailand was beset by a series of political protests that often brought the city to a standstill.
It would have been easy for EB to cut their losses and call it a day, but Toli and Seth refused to give up on their vision. With Thailand off limits, they changed their strategy and took TVC overseas, staging events in Dubai and Germany during that first difficult year.
It was to be a blessing in disguise as TVC quickly gained international support and was already well on the way to becoming an international brand, broadcast in 180 countries by sports network giants such as ESPN/Star Sports and Eurosport.
While EB continued to be overlooked by sponsors and media in Thailand, local rival companies copied the TVC concept and quickly received major financial backing. Despite this, EB continued to maintain its presence in Thailand, staging a second event in Bangkok as well as events in Germany, Russia and Malaysia.
EB also began to diversify. The company’s first major milestone in its expansion strategy was the acquisition of the Evolution brand in 2013. Already the most popular Muaythai event series in Australia, Evolution was incorporated into the EB portfolio and rebranded as an international brand.
The next step was the establishment of the EB Fight Club brand for the company’s chain of Muaythai gyms. There are currently EBFC gyms in Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand as well as in Southern Germany and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
However, the most important product in the EB portfolio is the EB-TV online platform. Globally recognized as a major online combat sports channel, EB-TV broadcasts not only EB’s events but also those of an ever-growing network of affiliate partners. Combat sports promoters around the world are able to set up their own channels on the EB-TV platform to stream their own events live and monetize on their library of previous events through PPV options. EB-TV has already streamed more than 40 events live and attracted millions of viewers, helping EB build a global brand of fight promoters.
While EB has continued to grow despite the lack of support in Thailand, the company refuses to be bitter and welcomes the competitors which have copied the company’s TVC concept. EB co-founder, Toli Makris, commented, “We are happy to have this competition. It makes us stronger but the main thing is that it helps the growth and development of Muaythai. That has always been our driving ambition, right from the start.”
With five successful years behind them, EB is now ready for the next phase in the development of Muaythai. “We will launch a very exciting new product later this year,” said Makris. While he did not give any further details, he promised that it will definitely become one of the biggest brands in Muaythai. More details will follow soon.