Why Flograppling is good for Jiu-Jitsu
It is nearly 4 years since Flosports announced that they that would be launching a new sports vertical (Flograppling) dedicated to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling.
Since this time Flosports has gone from strength to strength adding several more channels and announcing a series of growth expansions and record profits.
The idea for FloSports came about when brothers Martin and Mark Floreani saw a business opportunity in covering sports that have dedicated fan bases but receive very little media attention. Flotrack and Flowrestling
FloSports works by partnering with event rights holders and governing bodies to to provide content. Current verticals under the FloSports header are Basketball, MMA, Football, Wrestling, Track, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Swimming and more. If there is niche sport with a big enough audience, Flosports seems to want it under their banner.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not known for being a popular spectator sport. IBJJF matches follow a strict ruleset and it is often difficult for the casual fan to understand what is happening.
New grappling platforms such as Polaris and the Eddie Bravo invitational are attempting to revolutionize the sport to make it more accessible to casual fans by removing the Gi and encouraging the submission element of the sport. This model has had some success and the partnership of EBI with the UFC’s Fightpass network was a significant milestone.
However the top competitors in the sport continue to compete in the Gi and primarily in the major IBJJF and UAEJJF tournaments. These events are the cornerstone of Flograpplings coverage but they also offer a vast amount of other content from other promotions such as the ADCC, Kasai, and Fight to Win Pro.
Apart from coverage of live events Flograppling also offers breaking news, original documentaries, rankings, interviews and in-depth technique videos.
Initially Flograppling was offered at a price of $20 per month. However they have since changed to a $149.99 per year price and have removed the option to pay monthly. The new per annum price works out at $12.49 per month. It seems this was done to dissuade people from signing up for one month to see a particular tournament and then cancelling their membership.
When compared to premium content services such as UFC fightpass (approx $10 dollars a month) Flograppling can seem expensive. Flosports are clearly targeting the hardcore fans that are willing to pay a premium to access good content. By archiving videos from every other match at the major tournaments they are also seeking to encourage membership form competitors looking to access footage of their matches.
There is no doubt that if you are a fan of grappling or BJJ you will have come across Flograppling. Flograppling have a strong presence at every major tournament and are very active on all social media platforms. They seem to have invested in staff that are genuinely fans of the sport and this comes through in the content that they produce.
Their news and website feature sections can sometimes be a bit thin on substance but overall it has to be said that the service they deliver is excellent. At major tournaments there is a camera on each mat and the FloArena will show the feature match and will often include commentary. Flograppling have also shown the capacity to cover multiple events happening in different continents at the same time.
Flosports released an app at the end of 2017 for IOS users only that allows you to flip between the various verticals. The mobile accessibility is one clear part of the service that could be improved. A dedicated IOS and android application for Flograppling would be nice to have.
Good for the sport
More high quality footage and coverage of professional Jiu-Jitsu can only be beneficial for the sport. In order for a sport to grow the sport needs to provide stars for the fans to support. Flograppling is helping to create these stars by providing a platform for them to showcase their talent. They also provide these athletes with exposure through their social media platforms and the in-depth features produced for the website.
Good quality archiving is also something that has been sorely missed in Jiu-Jitsu until now. It is nearly impossible to find most of Roger Gracie’s matches from his early IBJJF tournaments. This is in comparison to most of Leandro Los matches which can easily be easily accessed in Flograppling’s archive.
Flosports seems to be going from strength to strength and have experienced a series of profitable years in a row.
In general there seems to be a strong movement away from expensive cable television packages as people continues to sign up in large numbers for on demand services such as Netflix and Hulu. Live sports is a particularly fertile ground for on demand services and this sector is forecast to grow significantly over the next number of years.
Hopefully the continued growth and success of Flosports and Flograppling will help to bring the sport to a new audience which in turn will elevate the sport.