On Saturday, January 8, Marcin Najman shocked the public when he introduced the head of the event to the conference promoting the fourth gala of MMA-VIP show fights. To the accompaniment of “The Godfather” a man in a mask covering his face entered the stage.
Najman: “there is a Boss in MMA- VIP”
A moment later it turned out to be it Andrzej Zieliński (also known as Banasiak) “Słowik” – leader of the Pruszków gang – one of the most dangerous criminal groups in Poland in the 1990s. “Słowik” was accused of leading an organized criminal group of an armed character and ordering the murder of Marek Papała, the chief of the police (he was acquitted of the latter). .
“There are no poles. There is a Boss in MMA-VIP,” Najman wrote on Twitter.
There are no poles here. There is a Boss in MMA-VIP. pic.twitter.com/O0XtXzC3bz
– Marcin Najman (@MarcinNajman) January 8, 2022
The decision to include “Słowik” in MMA-VIP immediately met with very sharp, critical reactions on the Internet. “In my opinion, everything is tightening up – this is the permanent TVP Info commentator establishing cooperation with a gangster with whom the TVP Info employee – Jarosław Jakimowicz, boasted” – commented the journalist Karolina Opolska.
The cooperation was strongly commented on by Krzysztof Stanowski from Weszło and Kanał Sportowy. “You have to be a real idiot to cooperate and publicly brag about cooperation with a gangster, a criminal and a bastard. I hope that the companies that advertise there do it for the last time ” – wrote the journalist.
You have to be a real idiot to cooperate and publicly brag about cooperation with a gangster, a criminal and a bastard. I hope the companies that advertise there are doing it for the last time. https://t.co/NgHAdWEDqd
– Krzysztof Stanowski (@K_Stanowski) January 9, 2022
On Facebook, Stanowski added: “The dynamic development of various federations from freak murder shows in what times we live and in what realities our children are brought up (…). Marcin Najman’s organization, which is not Marcin Najman’s organization, because he has zero shares in it … Well, the organization branded with the bald head of Marcin Najman introduced its boss – it turned out to be “Słowik”, the former boss of the Pruszkow mafia. These are really strange times. Really strange times. “
MP Krystian Kamiński from the Confederation assessed: “Słowik destroyed the lives of so many people that he should not leave prison (or KŚ) until the end of his life, Najman should apologize and cut himself off or be excluded from social life.
In turn, the journalist of Wirtualna Polska, Szymon Jadczak, posted an archival entry of Marcin Najman on Twitter, where in the photo he poses with the disgraced politician Łukasz Mejza, social advisor to President Andrzej Duda, Marcin Mastalerk, and former boxer Andrzej Gołota. Internet users also recalled a photo in which Najman is in the company of the current dispute minister Kamil Bortniczuk.
“So you are saying that my favorite Łukasz Mejza was involved in the project of Marcin Najman, which ended with the promotion of the bandit Słowik, the boss of the Pruszkowski gang? the journalist asked.
So you say that in Marcin Najman’s project, which ended with the promotion of the bandit Słowik, the boss of the Pruszków gang, he was involved in https://t.co/dYMwTCSMO2. my favorite Łukasz Mejza? pic.twitter.com/j72f1D8c3x
– Szymon Jadczak (@SzJadczak) January 10, 2022
MMA-VIP with no sponsors
In an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl, Marek Buklarewicz from the Arskom agency reminds that MMA-VIP is a federation that organizes entertainment MMA, it is a creation completely different than mixed martial arts.
– First of all, it is worth dividing the topic of the broadly understood MMA once again, twice. Initially: MMA sports organizations and MMA entertainment organizations, and then divide it again – to put it simply – into harmful and harmless galas. The latter, for various reasons, includes MMA VIP and is in a definite, though exposed, minority – Buklarewicz tells us.
According to the expert, the scandal surrounding the organization sponsored by “Słowik” and Marcin Najman will not affect the image of the entire MMA.
– Organizations such as the American UFC or the Polish KSW manage other target groups, having only the fight in the octagon as a common point, and the recipients of leading organizations with celebrity fights can distinguish pathology from entertainment. For advertisers, these are currently too large and important target groups to have to put it in one bag and lock it in a bunker – the expert analyzes.
These observations are shared by the president of Sport Management Polska, Grzegorz Kita. – Currently, I do not think that MMA understood as a sport discipline suffers further losses on the appearance of such galas and organizations such as MMA-VIP. It was like that a year or two ago when the so-called FAME MMA seemed to be against the wall. As of today, I believe that consumers already clearly distinguish between the classic MMA galas and the gal freak fight market. In fact, the image of these areas has already been separated. The consumer knows what he is looking for and what to expect from each of these sectors – Grzegorz Kita tells Wirtualnemedia.pl.
According to Marek Buklarewicz, in the current position of MMA-VIP there is no chance of finding commercial sponsors.
– Brand image is becoming more and more important along with the advancement of technology and expanding access to information; there are already studies that show that the consumer is able to buy – or not – because of this image, and not the quality of the product itself. Each brand will therefore think three times before sticking its logotype to the gangster world – explains the expert Arskom.
Grzegorz Kita adds: For any serious brand, being associated with such gala events is a very serious image risk. But also I do not think that big brands have such plans at all, or even that MMA-VIP itself has such sponsorship and advertising aspirations. Rather, the main axis of income is PPV. Rather, smaller brands or “provocative” brands only complement the revenue structure.
The interest in MMA-VIP will increase because commercialism counts
– It is a contemporary paradox that despite the wave of criticism and indignation, the interest in this gala or organization will simply increase – assesses Grzegorz Kita for Wirtualnemedia.pl.
– MMA-VIP is a specific product. In fact, it does not focus on creating a doctrinally understood (positive) image, and I would even risk saying that the traditionally understood image itself is secondary to them. Image and perception are a flexible, rotating tool. It is mainly the commercial aspect that matters – explains Grzegorz Kita in an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl.
Kita continues that the involvement of a criminal in the 1990s is a “loud, boisterous and controversial tool” for the MMA-VIP leaders, which is to draw the audience’s attention to the organization.
– These are not actions aimed at encouraging the interest of the “outraged”, but rather to provoke the interest of those who see it, even out of curiosity. Even unhealthy. Anyway, this is the current effect. however, raising awareness in the context of the existence of the product and its offer – After all, the largest Polish portals or many popular celebrities and influencers wrote about the organization and the MMA-VIP 4 gala – states the president of Sport Management Polska.
Marcin Najman founded MMA-VIP together with Kacper Woźniak, later they were joined by Dariusz Kosowski, the originator of the “Olympics”.