Sengoku Loses Primary Sponsor, Promotion’s Future in Doubt


Sengoku Raiden Championship has lost its primary sponsor. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com


On a day in which the Tohoku Region earthquake has devastated Japan, the island nation’s MMA community has taken a major hit, as well, as primary sponsor Don Quijote has officially terminated its sponsorship of Sengoku Raiden Championship, according to an SRC release.

Since its inception in 2007, Sengoku has been sponsored by the Japanese retail giant. However, the commitment of “Donki” has been questioned lately as the downturn in Japanese MMA and the mounting debt of the promotion has led the company to reassess its patronage.

“We have been supporting MMA with just our passions and dreams, regardless of our huge deficits,” the statement said. “But, some heartless media have picked us apart in magazines, and we have been suffering from them. We have run out of patience.”

On Feb. 1, SRC published a lengthy rebuttal, criticizing an interview with SRC featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki by journalist Manabu Takashima in the March 2011 issue of combat sports periodical Gong Kakutogi. The company took issue with the characterization of its Dec. 30 “Soul of Fight” event being disorganized and being a potential death knell for the promotion, hinting that Don Quijote’s sponsorship may soon be retracted.

The announcement complicates difficult times for SRC and parent company World Victory Road. After originally anticipating a February card with the conclusions of its SRC Asia bantamweight grand prix, the event was pushed back to April 23, before being postponed yet again after the blow-up in February.

One of Japan’s largest retailers, Don Quijote took in $122 million USD in profit in 2010. The discount store chain has supported MMA largely at the behest of its chairman, Takao Yasuda, over the last few years. Originally, the company supported well-known Yoshida Dojo products, such as Olympic gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida and Kazuhiro Nakamura, but eventually branched out into event sponsorship. However, “Donki” made clear in the statement that the company plans to continue to sponsor other Japanese events such as Pancrase and Shooto, as well as continuing its relationship with FILA and the Japanese Wrestling Association.

“It is a shame to reveal our situation, but the reality is that we have to throw our hands up without our parent company and sponsor companies that we have counted on,” said the release. “If there is no company that can help us, we have to think about the worst case scenario: the end of SRC.”

Reader comments are active below. Chime in with an opinion or thought by signing in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo! account. view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 12 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC Managing Director of Operations in in Canada, Australia and New Zealand Tom Wright reveals why fans should not be concerned with the promotion’s future in Canada. Following a period of rapid grow read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Cat Zingano met with reporters at the UFC 178 Media Day on Thursday where she talked about her trying times and the pending showdown with Amanda Nunes. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Check out Esther Lin's UFC 178 media days photos from Thursday's event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 121 views

Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier didn't quite devolve into a Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier brawl, but they certainly heated things up at Thursday's UFC 178 Media Day in Las Vegas. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

At UFC 178 media day, all the main card fighters squared off, as well as former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Takeya Mizugaki, in front of the media in Las Vegas. Check it out above. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC Featherweight champ Jose Aldo was back training the day after he was hospitalized with kidney stones and his coaches say his UFC 179 bout with Chad Mendes is still on. Uh oh fight fans. Another U read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

In the final entry of the ranking of the 20 greatest wrestling matches between future MMA stars, Bloody Elbow takes a look back at the 2001 wrestle off between Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson. Dan He read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

With annual events in Japan and an increasing presence in Macau, Pacific Rim expansion has become a priority for the UFC. Next year, add South Korea to the list. On Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

Welcome to the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat, episode 105. I'm back, y'all. Vacation was weird and wonderful (and desperately needed), but I'm back. I'm so excited to do this chat today and recon read news >>