BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 5, 2006–Imperia Entertainment (Pink Sheets:IPRE) President James Hergott announced today that an agreement has been finalized for a strategic partnership between Imperia Entertainment and TapouT Magazine (http://tapoutmagazine.com/) for the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) feature film ‘Never Submit’ (http://www.neversubmit.com/).
The agreement will provide TapouT Magazine with an invested ownership stake of ‘Never Submit’ and marketing opportunities in exchange for an extensive multi-year aggressive marketing campaign by TapouT Magazine for the movie. As part of the partnership, TapouT Magazine will begin featuring the movie prominently in full-page advertisements in multiple editions of the magazine. TapouT Magazine will also do several multi-page stories on the movie including documenting the auditions, filming and release of the movie as well as at least one feature cover story on the movie.
Additionally TapouT Magazine and Imperia Entertainment will collaborate on a cross-country promotional campaign and nationwide talent search to several of the well-known MMA dojos and fighting events across North America. The ‘Never Submit’ and TapouT Magazine team will travel the U.S. in a tour bus painted with both TapouT Magazine and ‘Never Submit’ across it in big bold letters. The trip will have the dual purpose of promoting TapouT Magazine and ‘Never Submit,’ as well as to audition actors, fighters and other talent for potential roles in the movie ‘Never Submit.’ The tour will conclude with the announcement of the principal cast for the movie. The tour and movie may also include appearances by the world famous ‘TapouT Crew’ that help promote the TapouT brand name with rock star attitude and over-the-top appearances.
Director James Hergott commented: ‘One thing for certain, while the tour has a very specific focus of auditioning MMA fighters and actors for the movie, it will also be a blast, and we encourage people to come out and join us at our various destinations along the way. We want the tour to reflect the upcoming movie and the magazine by being both eye catching and entertaining. The last time I held an open audition for one of our movies, we had over 700 people show up to each location. I have a feeling this will be much bigger than that. We want to bring a little bit of ‘American Idol’ fever to our audition tour. With the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts being at an all-time high, we feel this is the perfect promotion at the perfect time.’
TapouT Magazine will include the movie auditions in all forms of tour advertising that they do as well as their website. Likewise Imperia Entertainment will include TapouT Magazine in all advertisements for the auditions as well as their website.
During the tour several ‘A’ list fighters will travel on the bus for certain portions of the trip, holding seminars and training demonstrations for fans at the various dojos and MMA gyms scheduled. The trip will be filmed and documented on TapouT Magazine’s website and may be packaged as a reality TV show. TapouT Magazine will also have a promotional booth at several fight events on the route in connection with the promotion.
Mr. Hergott commented, ‘TapouT is a fantastic magazine that looks terrific and always has great articles and training tips. I believe this partnership will be very mutually beneficial.’
Robert Pittman, President and Publisher of TapouT Magazine, agreed, ‘I truly believe our companies can benefit from this strategic alignment and it gives our tour a purpose.’
About TapouT Magazine
TapouT is one of the most popular brand names in MMA. The TapouT brand is often featured at major events and on the clothing worn by several top MMA fighters. TapouT Magazine is the only full-color, glossy, MMA and grappling tutorial available in the US. It includes training columns by some of the world’s top MMA writers, fighters and coaches, including Bas Rutten, Mike Swain, Randy Couture, Frank Trigg, Erik Paulson, Eddie Bravo etc. It is also the number one and fastest growing exclusive MMA magazine in North America.
TapouT Magazine has a paid circulation base of 32,000 and growing at an amazing rate of an average of 500 additional subscribers and 1,5000 additional newsstands each issue. Subscriptions for the magazine are in over 15 countries and growing. They are in all Barnes and Noble, Borders Books, B. Dalton, Books a Million, Walden books nationwide along with over 600 independent bookstores. TapouT Magazine is now in thousands of locations in all 50 states including Martial Arts Studios, Affiliates, PMG Military Sales, MMA Product Stores and Newsstands. They have a phenomenal 82% sell through rate. As part of TapouT Magazine’s new campaign they have started building one of the worlds largest MMA Stores, forums, and news sections on their website and expect millions of hits per month. They are based out of Cypress, California.
About ‘Never Submit’
‘Never Submit’ is a movie which portrays the thrill of victory and agony of defeat within the sport. The story is set in a tournament setting similar to the movie ‘Bloodsport’ but rather than exploiting the sport as underground no-holds-barred fighting, it seeks to portray the sport in a realistic and positive light. The movie will be an inspirational tale similar to ‘Rocky.’ Unlike ‘Rocky,’ the lead character is an educated young man, rather than a beaten-down punch-drunk fighter. Mr. Hergott comments: ‘MMA is a very intellectual sport. A physical chess match. I want to portray the sport and its fighters as intelligent rather than dumb brawlers, as is often done in other movies.’
Already attached to the project is Executive Producer Tarquin Gotch (‘Home Alone,’ ‘Curly Sue’) and cinematographer Peter Benison, CSC (‘Chicago,’ ‘Silent Hill’). Imperia president James Hergott is slated to direct.
Imperia announced on August 14th that it received permission to use fighters from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the movie.
On August 15th Imperia announced that there would be a nationwide talent search including auditions being held at several of the top MMA gyms throughout the country including S.L.O Kickboxing and The Pit, Cobra Kai Jiu-jitsu, Renzo Gracie Academy, Jorge Gurgel Mixed Martial Arts Academy, and Gracie Barra Academy Lake Forest and Countryside. Additional locations will be included in future press releases.
All audition and sponsorship inquiries should be directed to Cindy Ortiz via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Imperia Entertainment
Imperia Entertainment, Inc. (http://www.imperiaentertainment.com/) is a company that has emerged as a player in the area of independent film production and distribution, once monopolized by the major film studios. In conjunction with its distribution subsidiary, Imperia International Distribution, the company engages in investing in and producing and distributing full-length feature films. Along with its equity interest in ‘All That I Need’ (http://www.allthatineed.net/), released in theaters last December, Imperia’s film properties include its feature film in post-production, ‘Say it in Russian,’ starring Faye Dunaway and Agata Gotova; ‘Brothers,’ by Tarquin Gotch (‘Home Alone’); ‘Never Submit,’ a feature film on the subject of mixed martial arts; ‘Whiskers,’ a family film made by Imperia’s subsidiary, Muller Media, Inc. (Pink Sheets:MUME); and the award-winning ‘Autograph’ television series (http://www.autograph.tv/), which airs on the OlympuSAT system.
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