Ever get the feeling that EliteXC VP Jared Shaw, the guy who calls himself $kala, is either a) full of shit or b) has no clue what’s going on when he makes a statement like “we’re fine, stronger than ever,” especially right after a SEC filing that says ProElite doesn’t have to worry about scheduling a Xmas party this year? Yeah, me too. Lucky for everyone, Jared Shaw isn’t the captain of ProElite’s ship, and the one who helped drive $55 million in losses is gone. Instead, they have Charles Champion at the helm now, and surprisingly for a ProElite executive, he seems to understand how a business should be run.
Champion spoke to MMAWeekly.com about the company’s status, and as a corporate “turnaround artist,” how he intends to pull ProElite out of its financial nosedive. Here’s a few excerpts, although I recommend you read the whole article.
“Like a lot of startups, they’d gone out and their appetites were fairly significant. They’d bought a lot of brands and they did that very quickly,” he said. “You could see the problems that created, trying to integrate all that stuff into one company.”
The company was also bleeding cash. Champion says Sales, General, and Administrative costs, which account for the overhead of a business, were burning $1.7 million dollars a month in cash reserves. Something needed to be done, fast, or ProElite would soon close its doors.
Champion says he’s cut SG&A costs by a million dollars per month since taking the reigns of ProElite, and is looking for other ways to pad the bottom line. “There’s still more an opportunity to take out some more to be run more efficiently and effectively,” he said. That includes possibly cutting assets that don’t produce revenue, like the satellite promotions ProElite gobbled up in its first year of operations.
Undoubtedly, the company’s fate will be largely determined by its third CBS event, and will shape the strategic planning firm’s advice in days to come. Elite does have several valuable assets – Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, and deals with a major network and its premium cable channel. Champion’s job is to figure a way to maximize these assets before the ship sinks.
It’s definitely not an enviable task, but don’t feel bad for Champion and the situation he’s found himself in. He’s good no matter what happens. If he successfully turns ProElite around, he looks like a hero. If not, well, he can just blame it on the idiots who ran it into the ground in the first place and say it was already too far gone.