Five bold strategies to increase Invicta FC's ratings and attendance

By: AXS Contributor May 25, 2017
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With 23 Invicta Fighting Championships events in the books, company co-founder and former Strikeforce exec Shannon Knapp has learned some important lessons on what works and what doesn't. To say that it has been a roller-coaster ride since Invicta FC 1 would be a major understatement.

The promotion has taken some serious missteps since its humble beginnings in 2012, but Knapp kept fighting and made key adjustments along the way -- ultimately saving her business with savvy decision-making. What did she do to build momentum back after a rocky start? Switching from the pricey, ridiculously over-sized Memorial Hall to the much more cozy and affordable Scottish Rite was obviously a power move, as was the decision to align with UFC Fight Pass.

Back in Invicta's early days, the promotion tried to run online pay-per-view streams. Almost every time they tried, disaster struck -- with Ustream's payment system getting screwed up -- and Knapp ended up giving the show away for free. The boss lady quickly realized the online pay-per-view model wasn't going to work, so she worked hard to line up a deal to air on "Fight Pass." That move shored up her company's future.

Bringing Julie Kedzie and Kaitlin Young on board as a matchmaking team was another smart decision. But like any business, there's always room for more growth and adjustments. Here's a look at five bold strategies that could instantly increase Invicta FC's ratings and attendance for 2017 and beyond.

  • Add local fighters to preliminary card

    Bellator has had great success with its model for packing out venues, as the promotion regularly stacks preliminary cards with local fighters who can help with ticket sales. Invicta FC rarely features locals, and never makes their athletes sell tickets. Switching over to Bellator's model can help Invicta FC with the dollars they hope to generate at the gate.

  • Run a tournament for a UFC contract

    A four-woman tournament to determine who gets a UFC contract would be a great way to attract new fans. Of course, Knapp and company would need the UFC's blessing to do such a thing. However, this shouldn't be too difficult, being that the promotion airs on UFC Fight Pass and is tied in with the UFC.

  • Start doing post-fight press conferences again

    The post-fight press conference is a key way for fighters to show their unique personalities, and explain to fans and reporters how they felt about their performances. Of course, fighters prefer to bolt the venue to get their drink on at the after-party. But the post-fight presser is an absolute necessity, as it helps the media generate stories that will get new eyeballs on the product.

  • Host a Pride Night

    The women's MMA community has a rich LGBT culture, so it's time for Invicta FC to capitalize by running a Pride Night. Current Invicta FC bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger is openly gay, making her the perfect person to connect the promotion with an untapped legion of potential new fans.

  • Run a show on the East Coast

    Since 2012, Invicta FC has done events in California, Kansas City, Texas, Nevada and Iowa. The promotion has never been anywhere close to New York. Is it time for Shannon Knapp to run a show on the East Coast? It would cost a fortune to move the show out of the Midwest, but the boost in media attention and ticket sales would make it all worth it. And with New York natives Heather Hardy and Jillian DeCoursey still looking to make their respective promotional debuts, the time is right for Invicta to hit the "Big Apple."

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