NEVER LEAVE YOUR HYPE BEHIND….
…It was a phrase that “Mrs. Rukus” came up with one night while I was slightly overwhelmed in my multi-tasking and I was talking out loud about wanting my own catchphrase that sums up exactly what I do. “Never Leave Your Hype Behind”…I thought about it, and just appreciated her accuracy, her innate ability to tap into what I was trying to put into words, it made perfect sense.
As a fighter, what exactly does your walkout song mean to you? All fighters think differently in terms of the “walkout”, the “entrance”, the “arrival”. Some like the overtly hyped style hip hop, some like straight rock, while others like the epic “300” style entrances. Some fighters like to choose different songs for each fight, some choose a song because they think it sounds cool, while some get denied by the promotion on certain songs due to licensing issues and are forced to walkout to something they don’t want or are stuck with. So in all of that, ask yourself two questions, “what does my walkout song mean to me?” and “what does my walkout song mean to the people who are watching me fight?”
Now I understand that as fighters, your world is flooded with preparing for your fight, and some of you, who may not have the benefit of good management, will be struggling to acquire sponsors, do PR, etc. With all that goes on in the life of a fighter, the walkout song sometimes becomes an afterthought. With fighters on the elite level especially, this is the case, as I have worked with some, and because of the workload that goes into promoting a high profile fight let alone trying to find time to train, I sometimes don’t hear back from them and they are forced to pick a song at the last second that they may not be happy with.
I am here to tell you that your walkout song, is your story. That three minutes from the time you walk from the back locker room until you step in the cage is “Prime Real Estate” to strike fear in the heart of your opponent, tell the world who you are and take yourself to another plain of adrenalin before the cage door shuts and you go to work. But the one thing that is the most important and most OVERLOOKED aspect of the walkout song is that of your BRANDING.
More and more fighters and fight managers are beginning to catch on to fighters being a brand unto themselves. The time has come as athletes, that you start to think about your total package, or if not you, find the proper representation to handle these duties for you. Now more than ever, are opportunities to step into bigger fights, bigger promotions, as well as make a respectable living. My job as a fight music producer is to not only tell your story, but to assist in creating these opportunities for you.
I will give you an example. Let’s say you’ve decided to acquire my services and I create a walkout song for you that not only tells your story but takes you to another level as you take the walk to the cage. The key now is to have your fan base associate the song with you, your fighting style and your likeness. How do you do that? You create a highlight video, maybe of you training, or some of your best moments in the cage. You utilize the social media platform that is at your disposal to share with everyone and anyone you know. You take your song and place it on iTunes and other music download sites, reach out to your supporters, ask them to download your song in support of you. The goal being to solidify your BRAND. Your walkout song would essentially become your musical logo.
Let’s take it one step further, let’s say you’re at the elite level, fighting in one of the larger promotions. With the bigger promotions comes more exposure, more fans, more high profile fights. This is where your walkout song can become not only the completion of your brand, but it can become a very strong source of additional revenue. If you are a fighter with the fan base of 100,000 or more via Facebook and Twitter, think of the impact you would have by telling hundreds of thousands of people WHO ALREADY SUPPORT YOU, to download your walkout song, if you have 100,000 followers and even a mere 20% download your song at $1 a pop, thats $20,000. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where the numbers can go.
I’ll take it even one step further. Recently, I’ve stepped up my operation to work getting walkout songs and theme songs that I’ve created for previous clients to be placed in TV and film. Let’s say your walkout song gets placed in a summer blockbuster motion picture. The song gets played, people look to see what the song is and where it came from. So in the credits, they see the title of the song, who it was performed by (in this case Mikey Rukus), and in quotations “Official Walkout Song for <YOUR NAME HERE>”. Immediately, your name has entered a brand new field that would not have been possible previously. Think of the effects that your name in the credit line has on people who have not heard of you. The first thing they do is look for the song to download (which is more money in your pocket), then of course they go to YouTube, look for the song, or look for your name, to see what you’re about. Some of those people may have never have heard of you, and suddenly they will be thrust into YOUR world, watching YOUR highlight reels. These people aren’t necessarily fight fans, but they are movie buffs, production people, movie directors, producers, writers, who see YOU, they see YOUR BRAND. They may like your fighting style, or your look, and could look to cast you in their next film! Sound far fetched?! Maybe, but the possibility has certainly been established.
With the billions of people who access the internet everyday, as a fighter, you owe it to yourself to start planning for your future. As we know in this business, it’s not all about your skill. At the end of the day, you have to be able to draw. You have to give people a reason to see you, to invest in you. Something as simple as your own Customized Walkout song, which is tailored specifically for you and your brand, can take you further, in terms of fan base, draw, and appeal, than you could ever imagine.
Fighters- Never Leave Your Hype Behind
*Mikey is now accepting bookings for speaking engagements at MMA gyms to assist fighters who are serious about taking their game to the next level in terms of branding thru music.
*Mikey Rukus creates Custom Theme Music and Walkout Music for MMA Companies and Fighters Worldwide- to view his body of work please visit www.soundclick.com/mikeyrukus
*You can also follow Mikey on Twitter: @MikeyRukus
*To be a part of Mikey’s upcoming free online album release join him on Facebook: Mikey Rukus-Free Online Album Release
*You can also email Mikey with any questions, comments, concerns or service inquiries at email@example.com