4.01.2009

FightTicker.com Exclusive: Interview With School of Fight Co-Owner London Arevalo


I first met London Arevalo at an ICF show in Florence, KY where School of Fight was one of the vendors. I saw that School of Fight had some interesting themes for their shirts and I was pleasantly surprised to see Arevalo really make it a point to interact with everyone that stopped by the School of Fight table. In conjunction with sponsoring FightTicker.com's UFN 18 Prediction contest, Arevalo took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about this up-and-coming company.



FightTicker: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have a background in combat sports?

London Arevalo: I’m London Arevalo Co-Owner and Creative Director for School of Fight. I have the cool job of creating apparel designs for fighters and fans alike.

Yeah, I’ve actually been training in martial arts since I was about four. I started competing in Olympic (knockout) Tae Kwon Do at 16 and fought pretty much all over the world representing the U.S.. I’ve been training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for about five years now at Walker MMA, and with Kevin Rhinehart and Aaron Morris who teach under the great Royler Gracie at Ground Level. My Brother in-Law also trains and has fought a few times as a lightweight himself. He’s also helped me train for national and international competition. We pretty much live for this stuff!

FT: Tell us a little bit about School of Fight. What made you want to start the company? How did you decide on that name?

Arevalo: Our goal at School of Fight is to create cutting edge apparel for the martial arts fighter and fan. We believe in designing a look and product that truly represents what mixed martial arts is all about.

We originally thought about getting more involved in the sport a few years ago. Then after getting a little more experience designing apparel we decided that the time was right to start production and give it a try.

To be honest my wife came up with it [the name]! We wanted to tie the continuous learning process that takes place in the world of MMA and Martial Arts in general with the sport, but say it in an original way.

FT: In a time where we see clothing companies popping up (and often failing) every day, what makes School of Fight one of the companies that’s going to last? What kinds of things is S.O.F. doing to ensure its long-term success?

Arevalo: Our priority is to build our foundation. It is built on honesty, quality, determination, and perseverance we don’t want to try to rush anything. We also strive to produce a quality product for our fans. We hand test our products and run double quality control to make sure its right. These qualities will help us become successful.

FT: Do you currently sponsor any fighters?

Arevalo: Our first professional MMA fighter is Neal “The Rhino” Craft out of Walker MMA. We also sponsor amateurs like Thomas “Da Monkey King” Woodall. We are currently in negotiations with other professional and amateur fighters, but we are looking for people that represent what we’re about. You know, the type of fighter that if they do lose will pick up the pieces, learn from it, and train even harder for the next fight.

FT: How do you feel about the level of business School of Fight is currently doing? Is it where you thought it would be at this point?

Arevalo: Yes. We’re pleasantly surprised. The business is growing at a faster pace than we originally accepted. We’re making great contacts, meeting a lot of people, and most importantly getting great feedback on our designs from the MMA fans.

FT: What were some of the challenges you faced when getting started?

Arevalo: In the beginning, we had the challenge of finding printers. We also had the challenge of finding venues and determining which designs we should produce.

FT: I first ran into the School of Fight guys at an Intimidation Cage Fighting show – what are some of the shows School of Fight sends vendors to? At what shows can fans find you in the future?

Arevalo: Right now, we’re concentrating on shows in the Midwest. We’ll be back in our hometown Dayton, Ohio for the Warrior Combat and Warfare fight series show on April 18th. We also look forward to doing more ICF shows as well. Our website and Myspace are always updated with upcoming shows that we’ll be attending. Be sure to check them often!

FT: How does the level of business you do at these shows compare to the business you do via your website?

Arevalo: Currently, we do the majority of our sales at the show. Thanks to sites like Fightticker.com and the support of fans throughout the country, schooloffight.com is now creating its own buzz. We’re also receiving a lot of web response from Facebook and Myspace. Feel free to check us out there too.

FT: What kinds of challenges do you face running a company like S.O.F.?


Arevalo: There’s always a challenge meeting deadlines, finding suppliers, managing inventory, and promoting our websites and products.

FT: What is your day-to-day role in the company?

Arevalo: I’m considered the Creative Director for our company. So I do a lot of the design work along with my Brother in-law Carlton who’s an awesome media guy and designer as well. I also handle some of the P.R. stuff with my wife Natalyn and the Boss Carlene Davis (The President), but we are a family-owned business. We all contribute our equal parts in order to make School of Fight successful.

FT: What do you want to see happen with S.O.F. a year from now?

Arevalo: I’d like for the company to continue to grow, the fans continue to support it, sponsormore fighters, and become a bigger part of the sport.

FT: Thanks for your willingness to talk to me – and thanks for agreeing to sponsor a giveaway here on FightTicker. Is there anyone you’d like to take some time to thank?

Arevalo: We always thank God for our strength. I’d also like to thank Kru Walker of Walker MMA, Mark Smith of Warfare Fight Series, Steve Stanton of the ICF, School of Advertising Art, and all the fans, friends, and family for their support. Of course, we’d like to give special thanks to Fightticker.com for this opportunity.

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Like I said, Arevalo is a great guy. Thanks again to Arevalo and School of Fight for the interview and sponsoring the contest. In addition to their website, you can also find School of Fight on Facebook and MySpace.

-PreView


(Originally posted on FightTicker.com)

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