Zinkin Entertainment and Sports Managment is known for identifying young athletes “that have what it takes” to become successful professional MMA fighters. Unlike most other management firms in the industry, Zinkin is willing and able to invest in its athletes to develop the necessary talents required to successfully compete and reach the pinnacle of the professional MMA arena.
Zinkin has recruited and trained many fighters from the colligate and amateur ranks into champion level professional fighters including Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier.
A critical component of any professional fighter’s development is top level training. Zinkin is closely affiliated with the world famous American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, CA. Trainers at AKA include a host of renowned martial experts including Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Leandro Vieira, Derek Yuen, Javier Mendez, Andy Fong and Zinkin’s Bob Cook. Within AKA, a host of necessary disciplines and training techniques are taught.
Bob Cook is a renowned master trainer who possesses over 10 years experience in MMA business to go with over 20 years of training and fighting as a mixed martial artist. Bob has trained many top fighters including Cain Velasquez, Chuck Liddell, Daniel Cormier, Josh Koscheck, BJ Penn and many others.
Creating Fight Opportunities
ZESM has relationships with all of the major MMA promotions and many of the regional promotions. ZESM supports its athletes’ primary requirements to find fights, gain exposure and acquire sponsors. ZESM believes that it is critical not just to find quality bouts for its fighters, but to identify the right opportunities, where the match-ups fit a fighter’s skill and experience levels, that make sense in terms of a fighter’s career development, and that can advance a fighter’s objectives. As the premier management firm in MMA, ZESM is ideally suited to create opportunities in the cage for its clients.
ZESM has negotiated contracts with all of the major MMA promoters, many notable sponsors, media outlets, and many other commercial entities. ZESM has the experience, resources, and skills to bring optimal results to its clients. While contract negotiations can often be adversarial, in terms of its clients, ZESM is focused on securing terms that protect its clients’ interests, address specific issues, minimize risk and meet long-term objectives.
Professional and amateur boxing, kickboxing and MMA are regulated by state athletic commissions who are responsible for licensing participants and supervising events. ZESM is experienced in dealing with these governing entities, in fact, DeWayne Zinkin Sr. (DeWayne Jr.’s father) was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger and served on the California State Athletic Commission. ZESM has dealt successfully with commissions throughout the U.S. including California, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Michigan and New Jersey just to name a few.
ZESM has successfully identified opportunities and negotiated sponsorship and endorsement deals with a multitude of companies on behalf of its clients including EA Sports, Microtech, Affliction, Cage Hero, Tapout, Headrush Apparel, Inc., Dethrone Royalty Brand, Hayabusa, Ultimate MMA Magazine, BSN, Sprawl Fight Short Company, Everlast, Milwaukee Tool, and many more.
MMA is a sport divided by distinct ranks. Amateur fighters battle in local circuits hoping to make it to the professional ranks. There are numerous regional promotions where fledgling professionals square off in hopes of gaining recognition from larger promotions. With enough perseverance and dedication, some manage to secure positions with major promotions like Bellator, OneFC, or ultimately the UFC.
ZESM works with top level fighters to develop raw talent into successful careers. Rather than approaching a career one fight at a time, ZESM has the necessary resources and vision to nurture and develop its fighters’ careers, by providing expert training and direction, seeking and identifying favorable opportunities, and maintaining a vision towards the long-term goals of the fighter.
As a partner with its fighters, ZESM’s interests are in perfect alignment with its clients, meaning it will never sacrifice its long-term perspective for short-term benefit.
Marketing and Brand Development
ZESM has experience and expertise in sports marketing and developing fighters’ individual brands through a variety of techniques and media channels.
Most MMA athletes do not have well established personal brands, despite the fact that it is well known that athletes with powerful personal brands bring considerable value to themselves and their sports. The value to an athlete of a high visibility brand can be remarkable; beyond remuneration for professional performance, the athlete can enjoy lucrative endorsement opportunities during his or her sporting career. Even after their careers end, athletes with potent brands can benefit by lending their names to entrepreneurial endeavors. George Foreman’s success with the George Foreman Grill (over 100 million sold) is a great example of the value of personal brand.
ZESM understands the value of effective marketing and brand development to fighters’ income potential in and out of the cage, and works with its fighters to develop and perpetuate specific associations identified with a particular athlete.
ZESM constantly positions its fighters at the forefront of the MMA industry. ZESM’s principals work closely with its clients and media contacts to refine and position fighters’ messages in a way that generates optimal media exposure.
Media Campaigns and Management
ZESM supports its fighters with effective marketing and promotional strategies through public relations, advertising campaigns and social media. ZESM works to build and maintain strong relationships major fight promoters, advertisers, sponsors, and fans that are passionate about MMA.
Media Training and Public Speaking
Effectively addressing an audience requires confidence, poise and clarity. Public speaking can be a challenging skill to develop, but it is a key part of successful communications and an important piece of media relations for any athlete.
Dealing with the public and media is much easier with a solid foundation in public speaking. Recognizing this, Zinkin helps its fighters to master public speaking and with the skills necessary to be comfortable in front of camera.
In-house Legal and Accounting Services
ZESM retains in-house legal and accounting services. ZESM’s in-house attorneys and accountants are well versed in legal matters related to MMA because that’s what they do. Further, ZESM’s in-house attorneys and accountants usually handle legal and accounting issues from start to finish, as opposed to dealing with different parties for different tasks. Since legal issues are often context specific, in-house counsel are better positioned to give relevant advice because they see the entire legal and business issue.
Another advantage to in-house counsel and accountants is their business knowledge specific to MMA, they become more intimately familiar with the industry, allowing them to provide customized advice specific to fit an MMA fighter’s specific needs.
ZESM sees it fighters as more than business assets. In the complex world of professional MMA, it is essential for fighters to have the edge that comes through insights and guidance of a highly regarded industry insiders. Thoughtful, structured career advice enables fighters to make the right decisions, empowering them to see things objectively, consider alternatives, choose wisely, identify opportunities and excel in the cage.