To leverage organization's Mo. studio

Pro League Network to develop new studio, expand portfolio with SlapFIGHT Championship acquisition

Reading time 2:15 min

Sports entertainment company Pro League Network has acquired the slap-fighting organization SlapFIGHT Championship. With this purchase, PLN, which takes smaller and alternative sports and turns them into bettable products, will leverage SlapFIGHT Championship’s Branson, Missouri studio to develop new PLN portfolio sports and produce weekly shows and entertainment featuring PLN sports. 

As a component of the agreement, SlapFIGHT Championship Founder and CEO JT Tilley will also join PLN as Creative Director, "helping the company conceptualize, develop, produce and market PLN sports."

Tilley, who has an extensive background in sports and entertainment across comedy, music and event promotion, will be responsible for the creative direction of PLN’s portfolio, "ensuring that sports are produced not only for wagering but also to maximize entertainment value."

Tilley founded SlapFIGHT in 2017, since developing the sport into "the premier slap-fight competition in the U.S." SlapFIGHT Championship’s live pay-per-view and tape-delayed competitions have generated a significant fanbase online, notes PLN, receiving millions of social media impressions via YouTube, TikTok and Instagram channels. 

SlapFIGHT Championship’s roster of fighters has included former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia as well as home-grown talents Wolverine, The Bell and Neanderthal. Matches are internationally distributed through Sport1 in Germany, Network4 in Hungary, CHMedia in Switzerland, Puls4 in Austria, Sport1 in Germany, and several other countries.

Since signing SlapFIGHT for wagering rights in 2022, PLN has helped the sport gain authorization for wagering in six US jurisdictions, with previous fights being offered on DraftKings. As part of the purchase, PLN will now own all elements of SlapFIGHT Championship, including branding, content library, social media channels and more.

We couldn’t be more excited to add SlapFIGHT to our portfolio and are looking forward to growing the brand, as well as introducing SlapFIGHT fans to other PLN sports,” said PLN Co-Founders Mike Salvaris and Bill Yucatonis.

JT and his team have a great eye for developing sports that are easy to understand, viral in nature and compelling to watch. We’re looking forward to working in partnership as we create more PLN sports.”

With the deal, PLN will develop a new PLN Studio in Branson, Missouri where Tilley will oversee new entertainment series, including BFC Extreme. The series will feature a regular roster of athletes competing in emerging PLN sports, noted the company.

When I first met the PLN team last year it was clear that we shared a vision for the future of sports entertainment – one where sports that may be considered ‘niche’ could, if produced correctly, be appealing to a broad audience and engaged with across multiple channels – including betting, fantasy and watch-alongs,” said Tilley.

The acquisition follows PLN’s announcement of its seed funding round, led by Roger Ehrenberg via IA Ventures and Eberg Capital, and the addition of gaming industry veterans Chris Grove (Acies Capital, Eilers & Krejcik) and Jeff Ma (ESPN, Microsoft) as Advisors.

Launched in Dec. 2022, PLN runs a network of alternative but bettable sports with the plan to help sportsbook operators fill under-optimized dayparts on the sports calendar. PLN readies and monitors each sport for wagering, as well as produces and distributes the broadcasts for these sports, curates each sports' social media community and monetizes each sport through wagering, sponsorship and affiliate.

PLN’s portfolio of over 16 brands includes sports like the World Putting League and CarJitsu Championship, as well as emerging sports like XTreme Long Drive, Pro Footgolf, National Carrom League, Strongman, T3 TouchTennis, Beastball and more. 

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