Sports and Action
ONE Championship and ABS-CBN look to the future of global sports with ONE:NXT Philippines
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 03, 2019 01:52 PM
“I really believe that together, we can change the world, that together, we can impact millions, even billions of lives through values, heroes, and stories, so I challenge you to be the hero and make a difference with your good fortune, because at the end of the day, we are ONE,” - ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong
Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship recently touched base with their partners and potential investors in the Philippines during the ONE:NXT Philippines event in partnership with ABS-CBN last Thursday, 27 June at the Shangri-La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
ONE:NXT Philippines brought together some of the country’s biggest senior leaders and key decision makers from top brands, agencies and the media, as well as industry experts and athletes to discuss how ONE Championship is helping shape the future of sports in the media and in business in the Philippines and in the world.
The opening address was given by none other than ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, who shared with the audience ONE’s story of success and how they were able to emerge into a billion-dollar property by celebrating Asia’s greatest cultural treasure: martial arts, as well as the heroes that it has brought forward.
“I really believe that together, we can change the world, that together, we can impact millions, even billions of lives through values, heroes, and stories, so I challenge you to be the hero and make a difference with your good fortune, because at the end of the day, we are ONE,” Sityodtong declared on stage.
“It’s great to get all the brands and agencies together to celebrate Asia’s greatest cultural treasure and the deep-rooted values of integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion, but more importantly, to think about how we can work together for the next generation, and this kind of event is just phenomenal, and I genuinely think that we’re gonna lead the way in terms of the future of global sports together,” Sityodtong said of the event.
Next to take the stage was Dino Laurena, Head of Integrated Sports for ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ biggest media outlet and ONE Championship’s broadcast partner in the country.
ONE and ABS-CBN have been working hand-in-hand since 2016, and together, they have helped bring the sport of mixed martial arts to new heights and have helped shape some of the country’s biggest names in the sport, including ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera and two-tme ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, who proudly represent the Philippines everytime they step into the ONE cage.
Laurena spoke of the commonalities of ONE and ABS-CBN in sharing stories and building heroes, something that they have successfully done in their three-year partnership so far.
“I believe that there’s a lot that could be learned and taken from the sports stories that surround athletes, and what better way to share it in a world that is exciting, interesting, and at the same time real,” Laurena said. “ONE Championship is in a very good trajectory, they have actually put together the best of what Asia is, to be shared to the rest of the world in a sports property, it’s absolutely unique and truly, there is a very strong future for ONE Championship and everything that it embodies.”
Five personalities from different sectors all took part in a Fireside Chat, as Games and Amusements Board of the Philippines Chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra, Dentsu Aegis Network Philippines Group CEO Donald Lim, Team Lakay founder and head coach Mark Sangiao, Submission Sport Philippines and Fighting Chance Foundation Erwin Tagle, and sports.abs-cbn.com Combat Sports Editor Santino Honasan all sharing their insight on how the sport of mixed martial arts and ONE Championship has grown in the Philippines in terms of popularity and in presence in the digital world.
“We’re very excited with the ONE Championship property,” said Lim. “We realize that you are not just selling martial arts, but really the values, the humanity, the stories behind the heroes. I think the agencies, we really look forward to collaborating with [ONE Championship] because when we face a client, a brand, we are not just selling the spots or the reach of how many people are looking, but it’s really selling the values of the sport. I think brands, eventually, will soon be more open to this possibility, because in the end, most brands would also want to share those same values.”
A pair of Filipino mixed martial arts stars then conducted a martial arts demonstration, with Team Lakay’s reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio showing the audience the skills that make up a world champion.
Vera and Folayang, arguably the biggest names in Filipino mixed martial arts today, were also part of an Athlete Panel, wherein they spoke about their journeys and their upcoming challenges.
Closing out the night’s festivities was ONE Championship Head of Corporate Partnerships & Strategic Sales for the Philippines John Morris, who assured the audience of big things to look forward to with ONE Championship and the Philippines in the future.
The ONE:NXT Philippines event, the first of its kind, was no doubt a way for the largest global sports media property in Asian history to not only strengthen its ties with one of their biggest markets in the Philippines, but also welcome new potential partnerships and allies to help in taking global sports to the next level in the coming years.