When Sid Guellal and Penny Sutherland stood victorious and together to accept the most marketable male and female awards under the brilliant stage lights of the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami on June 15th, 2019; the profound significance of the moment went largely unnoticed. But it will be remembered one day as a historical moment and the harbinger of things to come for those competitors that call the WPC home.
Since 1901 when Eugene Sandow first threw up a double biceps pose in a bodybuilding contest, the sport has unapologetically fixated on creating and encouraging, bigger, harder and more muscular bodies. They call it progress, and to a degree it is, but there comes a point when more just for the sake of more is not better and the world outside of the sport no longer finds the look appealing. In business terms, it’s not marketable.
When WPC CEO and Co-Founder Darren Owen, then an internationally successful Mixed Martial Arts promoter, first had a vision for the WPC, what concerned him most was the lack of prize money made available for athletes at contests and the lack of initiative to actively stimulate and support income opportunities for athletes off the stage. He decided then that WPC would be different.
“We expect our athletes to train and prepare to do their best in WPC competitions, but if that overall look is not marketable, we are preventing them from taking advantage of opportunities to earn money off the stage. Our goal then is to create a judging criterion that rewards competitors with a more marketable look. It is more easily attainable and healthy look for the athletes, and having a broader market appeal will afford the WPC, and it’s athletes more business opportunities. We have already secured television coverage of the Las Vegas and Atlanta competitions based on the greater marketability of our athletes.”
The most marketable award isn’t a consolation prize in the WPC. Marketability is at the very core of our culture. Between now and WPC2 in Las Vegas on August 18th, the WPC has booked photo shoots, video shoots, and podcasts with over a dozen WPC athletes. We are serious about working with our athletes to help them create and capitalize on business opportunities.