What is the International Fight League (IFL)? What are its media goals?
Joe Favorito: The IFL is the world's first and only professional league in the sport of mixed martial arts. Our season runs from January through September, and our media goals are to build the IFL brand and educate people about the sport.
Maxim is obviously a high-profile outlet, but what made it a good fit for the IFL, and how did you pitch the editors there?
Favorito: Our core demographic is males 18 to 45, and Maxim fits that audience perfectly. We'd been working with our PR agency, Dan Klores Communications, on a campaign to promote the health benefits of mixed martial arts training, and we used that angle to directly pitch the fitness editor at Maxim.
The story highlights IFL coach Pat Miletich. Was he well-known enough, especially among the readers of Maxim, to guarantee this placement, or did you use other hooks in your pitch?
Favorito: Miletich is very well-known. He's a world champion who has been profiled by leading outlets such as 60 Minutes. But it did help to include the healthy lifestyle and obesity issues that you can address with mixed martial arts-related exercises.
The piece that ran had plenty of art. Did you supply the pictures?
Favorito: No, all the art was handled by Maxim photographers, so all we had to do was fly Miletich to New York and get him to the studio.
What was the impact of the hit?
Favorito: The response to the story has been great. We have a partnership with MyNetwork TV for our Monday night IFL Battleground show, and many of the stations came back interested in showing the fitness side of the sport after this piece. We also have a deal with Warner Home Video for DVDs and have begun talks about fitness videos for 2008. Also, Maxim liked the story so much that a second feature with another of our coaches, Renzo Gracie, will run in July.
Name: Joe Favorito, VP of communications, International Fight League (New York)
Placement: Maxim, May
Pitch timeline: Four months