BJ Penn to open UFC Gym in Honolulu
UFC Gym announced today that it will partner with UFC superstar and former two-division champion BJ Penn to establish a signature BJ Penn fitness facility in the fighterâ€™s home state of Hawaii. The facility, which will begin enrolling members in Summer 2011, is set to open for workouts in January 2012, and will be located in the Kamehameha Schools Kakaâ€˜ako neighborhood, at the former Pipeline CafÃ© on Pohukaina Street in Honolulu.
Integrating mixed martial arts, innovative fitness training, nutrition, and youth programming, the 37,000 square-foot facility is expected to raise the bar for fitness in Honolulu. UFC Gym Hawaii will feature cutting-edge training techniques inspired by BJ Penn, including MMA classes, muay thai and jiu-jitsu, progressive group fitness, UFC Kidsâ€™ Gym youth training and the Daily Ultimate Training Series.
Much like the three successful UFC Gym locations currently operating in California, UFC Gym members in Honolulu will enjoy a variety of amenities, including the signature Arm Bar CafÃ© which will feature some of BJâ€™s favorite foods, a UFC Gym Store for the latest in apparel, and full amenity locker rooms complete with dry saunas. Other features include functional training areas, group fitness rooms and the famed UFC Octagon.
â€œBJ Penn is one of the biggest superstars in the UFC, a future Hall of Famer, and an icon in his home state of Hawaii,â€ UFC President Dana White said. â€œWeâ€™re excited to open a signature UFC GYM with BJ and expect it to become the ultimate fitness destination in Honolulu.â€
â€œIâ€™m very excited to be part of this tremendous opportunity,â€ the 32-year-old Penn, a native of Hilo, said. â€œI look forward to working with the UFC and UFC Gym to make this a huge success. It will be such an honor to have a UFC Gym with my name, especially in my homeland of Hawaii.â€
In addition to becoming an instant destination for fitness enthusiasts in Honolulu, the lease to UFC Gym marks another milestone for the local community. Officials from Kaiaulu o Kakaâ€˜ako, Kamehamehaâ€™s 29-acre master planned community in Kakaâ€˜ako, envision a healthy and sustainable community and are excited to have a UFC Gym as a cornerstone.
â€œUFC Gym will be a perfect addition to the master plan for our communityâ€ said Christian Oâ€™Connor, Kamehameha Schoolsâ€™ senior asset manager. â€œA true neighborhood includes a variety of housing integrated with retail, restaurants and gathering places. A high-energy fitness center, such as UFC Gym, is the kind of establishment that creates a sense of community.â€
UFC Gymâ€™s enrollment center will be opening in the old Cutter lot on Ala Moana Boulevard in early summer 2011. Anyone interested in the ultimate fitness experience, which combines a conventional gym with mixed martial arts training for families, and people of all ages and fitness levels, may visit www.ufcgymbjpennhawaii.com.
About New Evolution Ventures (NeV)
Based in Northern California, New Evolution Ventures (NeV) is a private equity firm focused on the acquisition, development, and operations management of fitness, media and sports entities both domestically and internationally. Founded in 2008 by Mark Mastrov, Jim Rowley and Mike Feeney, the current team of NeV professionals is shaping the world of fitness, media, and sports one brand at a time. In 2009, NeV partnered with Frank Fertitta, Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White, owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, to launch UFC Gym brands across the United States. To date, there are three UFC Gym locations in California with more facilities expected soon. With a foundation representing over a century of business experience, NeV currently has operations and investments in over 20 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.nev.com.
About Ultimate Fighting Championship
Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC produces over 12 UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually around the world. UFC programming is distributed in the United States on Viacom, Inc.â€™s Spike TV and on Comcast, Inc.â€™s VERSUS network. UFC content is distributed commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada. Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 135 countries and territories, reaching 597 million homes worldwide, in 21 different languages.
UFC also boasts a powerful presence online, with UFC.com attracting over six million unique visitors per month, while also possessing one of the most powerful social media followings in all of professional sports. To date, UFC has over five million fans on Facebook and over 250,000 followers on Twitter. In addition, UFC President Dana White is one of the most accessible and most followed executives in sports with over 1.4 million followers on Twitter. On January 22, 2011, UFC continued to set trends in social media, becoming the first major sports league to stream live, broadcast quality action on Facebook.
Ancillary businesses include the best-selling UFC â€œUndisputedâ€ videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC Gym, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVDs and a bimonthly magazine.
About Kamehameha Schools
Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling nearly 5,400 students of Hawaiian ancestry at three K-12 campuses and 1,500 at 31 preschool sites statewide. Approximately 38,500 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schoolsâ€™ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai`i and across the continental United States. Kamehameha Schoolsâ€™ educational programs are funded almost entirely by the trustâ€™s financial investments and by income from its real estate assets, such as the BJ Penn UFC Gym in Kakaâ€˜ako.
Press Contact: Erin Kinney
Frankie Thieriot Kamehameha Schools
UFC GYM 808.534.8507