Glory Sports International (GSI), the parent company of premier stand-up combat league GLORY, has announced the appointment of Marshall Zelaznik as chief executive.
Zelaznik will take up his new position immediately to lead GSI’s global operations, replacing Jon Franklin, who is stepping aside to become chief development officer in order to focus on furthering Glory’s growth in the Americas.
Zelaznik was most recently global head of business and content for Major League Gaming, helping to maximise distribution opportunities for Activision Blizzard’s esports properties.
Prior to that, he served a decade-long tenure as executive vice president and managing director at mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). During this time, Zelaznik was instrumental in growing the organisation internationally, overseeing worldwide media sales and developing pay-per-view (PPV) markets outside the US, launching and managing offices worldwide, and expanding the UFC’s live event portfolio.
He previously worked as vice president of programming at US cable television service In Demand. “From the time I was a young boy, watching boxing matches, I was always impressed with the talent, skill and heart of fighters who stepped between the ropes,” said Zelaznik. “I have been very fortunate to be able to work in the combat sports space for many years and to be given this chance to work with GLORY, to help lead its future, is very humbling.
“GLORY has done everything right to get to this point and I will ensure that my effort is singularly focused on continuing to develop GLORY as a place where fighters remain proud to compete,” he continued. “GLORY will be committed to building a platform for our athletes to showcase their incredible talent for the world.”
“There is no doubt Marshall has the experience and vision to take GLORY to the next level as a global sports league,” added Pierre Andurand, chairman and co-founder of GLORY. “We are delighted to welcome him and look forward to him leading the next phase of growth for GLORY.”
Scott Rudmann, GLORY vice chairman and co-founder, added: “Marshall joining is an important moment in GLORY’s company history and indeed in the history of professional combat sports. Our mission is to bring the absolute best stand-up combat to legions of hungry fans around the world. Together, under Marshall’s leadership, we will achieve that goal at larger and larger scales.”