The UFC has appointed a General Manager for the Asia region. Ken Berger takes up the position; he was the previous IMG International Vice President Asia, has worked with ISL, and FIFA.
Berger has extensive experience with other major sports properties including Major League Baseball, tennis event Wimbledon, and golf’s Arnold Palmer and the British Open. He then founded his own agency, SMJ, that worked with Serie A, NBA, NFL, PGA Tour, LPGA, UFC and ESPN, and was then acquired by Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan’s largest entertainment production entity and talent agency.
UFC will likely soon begin to release more announcements on its plans for events in Asia, including forays into the Philippines, Korea, and the TUF Japan series.
SINGAPORE, Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The UFC® today announced the appointment of Kenneth K. Berger as its Executive Vice President and General Manager of Asia.
Berger, 49, has a proven track record of business success throughout Asia, having worked across the region for the last 25 years. With an MBA from Thunderbird, American School of International Management, Berger went on to build his career at International Management Group (IMG), where he held the position of International Vice President Asia. His responsibilities at IMG included managing the licensing division in South East Asia, and then Japan, where he developed a variety of licensing programmes including Major League Baseball (MLB), Wimbledon, Arnold Palmer and the British Open.
Berger later made the move to ISL Marketing as their Managing Director, Japan and then to FIFA Marketing, where he headed the FIFA World Cup marketing and event services operations. After successfully delivering the marketing rights of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he launched his own successful sports agency, Sports Marketing Japan (SMJ). For seven years SMJ worked as a licensee for globally renowned sports properties in developing branded mobile and pc sites in Japan for Serie A, NBA, NFL, PGA Tour, LPGA, UFC and ESPN.
In 2009, SMJ was acquired by Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan’s largest entertainment production entity and talent agency.
On the appointment, UFC Chief Global Brand Officer Garry Cook said: “The UFC welcomes a leader like Ken to drive increased brand growth in Asia and take the sport and the UFC to the next level. The next twelve months will see UFC enter new markets, develop a more robust local roster of fighters and host several world class events in Asia and we are confident in the developments and successes that Ken will bring.”
Ken Berger added: “I feel honored to be joining the UFC. Mixed martial arts is the world’s fastest growing sport and Asia is its birthplace, which puts me in a very special position. I am hugely excited to be part of such a dynamic industry, and I am looking forward to helping the sport grow in this part of the world. The international stage is an important piece of UFC’s success, together with our talented and committed staff and athletes, we will help to scale MMA across Asia.”