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When a group of internet stars signed on to fight one another in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on June 12, many did so with the expectation that they’d receive a big paycheck.
The pay-per-view boxing event, “Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms,” was framed as a match-up between TikTok and YouTube influencers in order to settle “beef” between the two social-media cohorts. But money was also a central factor.
“You have to have a reason to get in the ring,” Rob Ellin, CEO of the event’s producer LiveXLive, told Insider in May. “Some of the kids said it was money, and it definitely is money. But you can hear in the dialogue between them [that] there really is a beef between TikTok and YouTube.”
But a little over two weeks after the event, some talent, including influencers and fight commentators, have spoken out on social media saying they have yet to be paid what they’re owed.
TikTok creator Vinnie Hacker told Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy and Josh Richards that he hasn’t been paid for the fight. Jonathan Coachman, one of the show’s commentators, told Insider that many of the talent, including himself, had not been compensated for working on “Social Gloves.” And LiveXLive President Dermot McCormack said that the event’s organizer Social Gloves Entertainment owed money to talent.
McCormack said that the responsibility for paying the fighters, commentators, and music acts from “Social Gloves” falls in the hands of a company called Simply Greatness Productions, which operates “Social Gloves” and signed all direct contracts with talent. LiveXLive was hired by Simply Greatness Productions as a vendor to produce and distribute the event, not to bring in influencers.
“We understand that Simply Greatness Productions has notified fighters and other talent that it does not have sufficient funds to make good on its contractual commitments,” a LiveXLive spokesperson said.
“Social Gloves” released a statement on Twitter last week, writing that it was “working tirelessly to verify the financial results of the Social Gloves event,” and “our sincere hope is to pay every fighter and every talent who participated in this spectacular event in a reasonable timeframe.”
“For us to be in the middle of this, it’s a little disconcerting because Social Gloves can come and go, but people know who LiveXLive is,” McCormack told Insider.
“It’s not fair for people to not get paid — we don’t condone that,” he said. “We want to see it resolved for everybody.”
Simply Greatness is a Delaware-registered company that formed in late December 2020. According to two sources who worked with the company during the “Social Gloves” event, it is run by YouTube creator Austin McBroom and his family. McBroom fought as the main event during “Social Gloves,” but first rose to social-media fame by making videos with his wife and children on The ACE Family channel. While McBroom isn’t listed as a registered agent on SGP public filings, his company Ace Hat Collection owns the “Social Gloves” trademark.
McBroom, the Ace Family, and Social Gloves did not respond to requests for comment for this story. TikTok creator Michael Le declined to comment on whether or not he was owed money from the fight. Another fighter’s manager who asked for anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with the event organizers said they had no issues with payment. The rest of the boxing card did not respond to requests for comment.
LiveXLive, which handled ticketing for “Social Gloves” in addition to the production and broadcast, hasn’t released ticket or PPV sales from the event. But McCormack said the company was satisfied with the result.
“We were happy with the numbers,” he said. “We didn’t do the deals with the fighters. We didn’t commit to those economics.”
And the show might go on despite the drama.
LiveXLive announced last week that it’s launching another influencer boxing event featuring all female fighters.
“Social Gloves” may also be eyeing future fights. McBroom teased that the company is considering a “Battle of the Platforms 2” in a June 19 YouTube video.
Read more Source: businessinsider.com