Invicta FC: Is the Promotion Built for the Long Haul?

James MacDonald@@JimMacDonaldMMAFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2012

Courtesy of Cage Potato
Courtesy of Cage Potato

If Shannon Knapp is to be believed, Invicta FC events have attracted up to 200,000 online viewers, curious to discover whether the fledgling promotion can satisfy their lust for MMA.

Some have expressed scepticism at the numbers being reported, but there is no doubt that the safe haven for female mixed martial artists has elicited interest from the hardcore fans.

Despite the sustained interest, one must question whether Invicta FC constitutes a viable business venture for its owners.

There has yet been no indication that the promotion is struggling financially. Fighters are paid on time and, based on everything we hear, they are happy with how the organisation has treated them thus far.

Indeed, following the Twitter feeds of Invicta’s stars leads one to believe that they are one big, happy family. It is utterly refreshing, yet it may be equally unsustainable.

Shannon Knapp et al. are artfully straddling the line between business and charity.

On the Co-Main Event podcast earlier this week, Ben Fowlkes pointed out that the reason why Invicta FC shows boast so many fights is because Shannon Knapp can’t say no whenever one of her athletes asks for a fight.

While that might be commendable, it isn’t necessarily the best approach to business.

The problem is that no one has determined Invicta’s ultimate destination: Charitable organisation or business organisation? There is no wrong choice, but it is one that is practically zero-sum.

Succeeding in business often means making difficult decisions, particularly when resources are so scarce.

I wrote an article a couple of months ago, querying whether it would be in Zuffa’s best interests to purchase Invicta FC. On reflection, it may in fact be in everyone’s best interests.

Dana White wants to grow the female side of the sport for a number of reasons, but his recently developed crush on Ronda Rousey is likely high on the list.

In order to get the most out of WMMA’s most bankable star, she needs to be matched up with someone who can hang in there longer than the cumulative length of my love life.

Zuffa could run Invicta FC in much the same way that they ran the WEC—with the goal of developing a section of the sport that is often overlooked and providing opportunities for athletes who deserve to be more appreciated.

I feel quite certain that Shannon Knapp would jump at the opportunity to work alongside the UFC, with their considerable resources at her disposal.

The promotion may well be built for the long haul, but longevity does not necessarily equate to success. Shannon Knapp might soon have to decide whether she wants Invicta FC to flourish or merely exist.