PKA Worldwide is getting a kick in the right direction.
Sacramento-based businessman Jimmy Anderson is making a significant investment into the parent company of the newly formed Professional Kickboxing Association (PKA). The investment is worth seven figures, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The capital injection provides PKA an expanded recruiting and contract budget, which it will deploy to acquire talent.
“Our objective is to attract the top strikers on the planet and put them in a broadcast setting where they’ll be able to show the world their [skills],” PKA Worldwide CEO Joe Corley said in an interview.
With the rapid growth of mixed marital arts, driven by mainstream coverage of UFC, PKA Worldwide looks to take advantage of the related bump in interest by providing a platform for the nation’s top kickboxers who may not be skilled in grappling but have entertaining striking styles. Corley says PKA will look to finalize a live-streaming media deal before approaching TV networks like ESPN, which had a partnership with his previous venture the Professional Karate Association.
PKA Worldwide has already started recruiting its next wave of talent by scheduling eight trials across the country. The formatting for these trials resembles American Idol with local winners ultimately heading to the association’s national competition and finalists earning contracts. The financial help from Anderson is expected to help the organization produce a more polished product.
Anderson isn’t new to investing in sports as he previously owned a stake in the Sacramento Kings and played a role in getting the club relocated from Kansas City in 1985. He also was a minority owner of MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates. But the investment in kickboxing is more personal.
Anderson, a former boxer who is friends with famed fighter and actor Chuck Norris, got involved in the business back in the 1990s working with former champions like Sacramento’s Tony “The Tiger” Lopez. Anderson is returnng to the sport because he wants to create another high-quality destination for athletes.
Corley is happy to have him. “Working with people [like Anderson] who are not only investors but former athletes themselves and who have experience in other areas of sports,” Corley said “will be good to take advantage of and promote the talent that’s available.”