Is being outspoken good for competition and the community?
The list of questions are definitely well structured and thought out on how Grappling Industries has grown and where it is going, he had done his homework on us quite frankly. I really wanted to take the time to show one of his tough questions and my answer to it as it has been a topic well discussed in the past by others besides us. Also, I want to thank Ahmed for the really tough written interview that will come out in a week and to the guys on the podcast for having me on to discuss our brand.
At the beginning, it was necessary that we distinguish ourselves from other organizations. We were often out budgeted on advertising and voice since we were the new start-up, thus we needed to propagate the reasons why we felt we were different from other events.
At times, we felt like no one believed in our goals of running a very organized round robin event while being able to afford so many advancements and grand prize trips. We were kind of always pushed aside especially at the beginning when Grappling Industries was known as Montreal Grappling and only promoted shows in Quebec. Looking back on it now, even I wouldn’t have believed two mid-twenty year olds wanting to build an actual successful and consistent tournament that awards grand prize trips at will each show on a large production. It seems farfetched and a bit crazy to invest in such an idea I agree but it takes someone to try it to prove the thesis right or wrong.
The truth is that although the martial arts teach you about respect, many martial arts gyms origins lay within getting memberships and keeping those memberships thus forming part of the concept of club loyalty. There are gyms that all over the world tell you that you cannot train at somebody else’s gym while training at their own. This is a business and although it sucks advertising against friends at times, we are all battling for a bigger piece of the same pie to use to do what we have planned for it. We have never named called another organization or said not to compete at their events nor have we ever tried to form a boycott of anyone’s event. We simply are trying to state, which has proven very difficult without sounding bashful, the differences between us and other tournaments. It is hard to explain to the public that we believe we offer just as much or more than a bigger brand name event while at a lower cost without coming off sounding disrespectful. Any time a person gets advertised to about a product; you have to remember the things the product is saying it is the best at are things at the same time they are saying other products are not as good at. It seems to more and more people now that although the martial arts teach a set of morals, that gyms and tournaments alike are businesses looking to strive in their respective communities.
If this is good competition, I would believe so to a degree because there has been a huge portion of the market that has not been fought over or educated on the differences between individual shows and associations. Essentially, we have been trying to stay on top by consistently explaining our round robin, grand prizes, and video uploading skills while running a very smooth product. I feel at times I am seen as the controversial figure when really I am not; I am representing a brand that is investing in this sport and looking for market share, essentially this should be the task of any promoter of an actual brand. The open door policy at Grappling Industries has gotten us very far and reached more people than staying politically correct would have done for us. Grappling Industries has also been very vocal in private with other promoters and tournaments, to the degree that we believe we negotiate with other events much more than any other tournament does. We consistently reach out to all events to help out, information share, and schedule with them both of our events. Many promoters and people are kind enough to reach back to us in response or in starting up talks while some want to hold grudges or old traditional values of what the tournament scene entails for promoters. We believe in business that it is important to rival your competition at times and at other times to negotiate with them so that all parties can strive. Without competition, there is nothing to compare your product to so in business it is always important to look at what your opposition does or says, and one up it. If we all keep one-upping each other, we are going to have a hell of an awesome tournament scene eventually.
It has divided up part of the market in certain ways. People we have propagated against do feel like we are choosing them to pick on when in reality we are using them as an example because well quite frankly, they are an example. Grappling Industries biggest critics are ourselves who conduct the business affairs at Grappling Industries; we are very vocal about always making changes to our events to better them just like we are about others events. However with all I have said I must admit this now, we will actually be taking a huge step backwards with how we advertise one on one with other tournaments so to focus 100% on our own tournaments advertising. We have a brand name now and people want that brand to shine for what it is, and not for what it isn’t. We are working with many other promoters behind doors in scheduling and advertising of events so we don’t cross over each other’s paths. This will help the growth of Grappling Industries by pulling us out from political online affairs we no longer need to be discussed in, and by focusing that attention to articles about our improvements or what is already in place in the promotion. In a sense, Grappling Industries will be moving forward as if it was the only tournament on the scene; although others do exist we will no longer have opinions of them.
Grappling Industries Co-Owner