Global Force Wrestling owner Jeff Jarrett recently spoke with Darren Paltrowitz of DownTownMagazineNYC.com about his dad being a promoter when he was a child, his new upstart Global Force Wrestling promotion and more. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On if his Dad protected him from wrestling secrets when he was younger:
“Yeah, to a certain level, the unwritten rule was that you didn’t discuss. Although you hear conversations in his office, when he’s sitting on the couch, on the phone and all that. It’s a family business, some folks are electricians, lawyers, plumbers, doctors, it’s family conversation.”
On Global Force Wrestling evolving:
“There’s no secret in whether you ran the concession stand, which I did in ’82 or ’83, or you’re talking about 2015, 2016 — your bottom line. Businesses, if they’re not profitable in the long-run, everyone understands start-ups…[These days] sports franchises are loss-leaders. They paid way too much for it, but it created that exposure, created that demand, look at where all the major networks are. You have to calculate your business, but at the end of the day, you have to have more black ink than red ink. You’ve got to be profitable. In The Masked Saint, they’re promoting to their audiences, it’s going on X amount of screens. They’re already got plans for week two, week three, week four, expanding into other screens.
“It’s no different than our business. We started last summer with that Grand Slam Tour, branding awareness was through the roof. Did we make a fortune? Absolutely not. The winter baseball meetings were in Nashville this week, all the major and minor league teams were here, so I had meetings, back to back days, talking to owners and general managers about our Grand Slam Tour next year. One guy sat back and he just said, “So tell me what your thoughts are, your feedback.” I told him, “I just had one of your cohorts tell me that in the Summer of 2015, Global Force Wrestling’s marketing department, if you have each team with about three people in the marketing department times 20 teams, that’s 60 people who worked on Global Force Wrestling over the summer.” So our brand awareness and our digital numbers show it, our social media, our views on YouTube, so the barometer’s there that show the awareness.
“Like you said, everything is so much more niche now, so it’s much harder to cut through than it was when I lost TNA. WWE and Vince McMahon are no longer the 800-pound gorilla, they really are the 8,000-pound gorilla. They’ve got a company that’s been around 50, 60, 70 years, their [WWE] Network is just doing phenomenal. When you really sit back and look at it, how success that is, it’s one of the top 10 over-the-top services in the world, and you’re talking about professional wrestling. So when we’re starting on a step by step basis, we went to Las Vegas in July, August and September and filmed a total of 16 one-hour episodes, and the shows we’re launching in January, our first two live events of 2016. It’s no secret that the northeast has always been and always will be a real, real hotbed of professional wrestling…and Poughkeepsie, both of these shows, have a personal attachment to myself. When I started for the WWF in 1993, the first time “Double J” appeared on TV it was in Poughkeepsie, New York out of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. We’re coming back and having our first shows of Global Force Wrestling in the northeast starting at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center on January 22nd. It was a part of promotional mentality that we wanted to partner with all kinds of promotions, no matter how big and how small, because I truly believe it’s a win/win for the wrestling fan. Pro Wrestling Syndicate, based right there in New York City, we’ve got a show in Rahway, New Jersey on that Saturday night right after Poughkeepsie. We’ve partnered with them as well, with their stars and our stars. I’m excited, if you couldn’t tell, about 2016 for Global Force.”