Bjorn Rebney is a leading authority on business creation, development and marketing for professional sports businesses, leagues, teams and athletes. For nearly 20 years, the Los Angeles native has been integrally involved in numerous aspects of professional sports as an owner, operator, promoter, producer, lawyer, marketing executive, athlete representative and CEO.
In 2007, Rebney created and developed Bellator MMA. His intent was to construct a nationally and internationally televised mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion where fighters control their own destiny through performance rather than relying on the antiquated, subjective matchmaking system that had ruled the sport since its infancy. The promotion debuted in 2009.
Rebney made his vision reality in early 2009 through the first exclusive MMA Television alliance with any member of the ESPN family of networks, through 12 weekly events broadcast nationwide. Bellator completed its first season in June, 2009 and received glowing reviews from fans and media. SportsIllustrated.com called Bellator “MMA’s success story of the year” in 2009. Bellator launched its second season in April, 2010 with 12 new events broadcast on NBC, FOX Sports Net, Telemundo and Mun2 (reaching the industry’s largest available universe, 305 Million homes weekly) and Bellator’s third season subsequently followed premiering in August 2010. Following the success of Bellator’s third season, Rebney successfully orchestrated the three-year distribution partnership agreement with MTV2 announced in December 2010. In October of 2011, the promotion was purchased by entertainment giant Viacom, and Bellator MMA will now air on MMA industry leader Spike TV.