The Very First Interview
On this special edition of the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast, Ben Askren sits down for an exclusive interview with founder and former CEO of FloSports and current founder and CEO of Rokfin Martin Floreani. Askren kicks off the podcast by asking Floreani how the past year has been moving away from Flo and to reflect on his new endeavor with Rokfin. Askren thinks back to when he was first introduced to FloWrestling when he was competing at Missouri being able to watch interviews with the best college and Olympic coaches. This was information, entertainment, and coverage that hadn’t ever been done for the sport of wrestling. Floreani talks about one of the very first interviews with John Smith and how accommodating Smith was to a kid he didn’t know and who didn’t have a product or legitimate company yet but came to him with an idea of what he wanted to create for wrestling. Floreani expresses his gratitude for all of these individuals that were so helpful and accessible to him during the beginning days.
Cael Sanderson (8:03)
Askren asks Floreani his opinion on coaches like Cael Sanderson who are very protective of information and don’t tell the media much of anything. Floreani understands Sanderson’s thought process of not allowing even the smallest crack in the dam for his competitors to get an edge on how they can better compete against Sanderson and Penn State. Askren hopes that in the future Sanderson will feel comfortable talking about the way he is able to run such a successful program for so many years.
First Live Event (11:57)
Askren asks at what point did Floreani get the idea to execute on live streaming wrestling events. Floreani takes it back to the first event he filmed, Midlands 2006. He filmed it on a tape camcorder, drove back to Texas, uploaded all the matches and the site started to gain a lot of attention. The first live streamed event came 6 years later when Kyle Dake beat David Taylor in a super close match at the All-Star Classic. This was when Floreani was able to step away from advertisers support and turn to a subscription-based company. An idea is meaningless without the proper and best execution of that idea. Floreani was extremely detail oriented in how he went about developing this idea.
How We Can Grow the Sport (20:43)
The topic is brought up about how much Flo has contributed to the growth of wrestling. Floreani thinks back to the people that told him while they love wrestling, it’s a boring sport and not for the masses. He talks about how context is everything for sports. Knowing the different storylines, drama, and adding the production adds enormously to the energy and enjoyment. He wanted people to witness the sport the way he was and he knew once they did they’d know there isn’t anything more exciting out there. Speaking on the different ways the sport will and can grow over the next decade Floreani talks about women’s wrestling and improving upon the competition experience for not only fans of national wrestling but local and youth wrestling.
Floreani’s Newest Endeavor (32:13)
Floreani founded and is the CEO of Rokfin. Rokfin is a subscription media company and live digital platform that rewards it’s content creators for the full value they generate. This is opposed to a non-subscription platform such as YouTube that can be monetized based off a percentage of Ad click revenue and deals with a host of issues that arise from external advertiser influence.
Featured RUDIS Gear:
Askren is wearing custom AWA team gear. Get your team outfitted here: https://therudis.com/custom-gear/
Floreani is wearing the Iowa Hawkeyes Script T-Shirt found here: https://therudis.com/?s=iowa&post_type=product
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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.
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