PFL Adds Former NBA China Executive Derek Chang to Board of Directors

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 28, 2021

Professional Fighters League has added an executive with significant ties to China to its team.

The promotion announced Monday former CEO of NBA China Derek Chang has joined the company’s board of directors. Chang is currently the CEO of Friend MTS, a “leading provider” of content protection for the sports and entertainment industry, and has previously held positions with Scripps Networks Interactive, DIRECTV, Charter Communications, YES Network and TCI. He also serves on the boards of Liberty Media Corp. and Isos Acquisition Corp.

“Derek is the rare international sports and media executive with vision of the vast opportunities for sports leagues in the global world,” said PFL chairman and founder Donn Davis. “And, importantly, Derek’s sterling reputation and extensive business relationships can help PFL forge partnerships and chart expansion worldwide.”

During his role with NBA China, Chang worked to expand the league’s footprint across the country “by bringing innovative lifestyle experiences to fans of all ages.” During his tenure, he helped NBA China partner with the likes of Tencent, Alibaba, Vivo, ByteDance, and China Mobile Migu.

“PFL has a top notch management team who are creating the makings of a major global sports league and entertainment brand,” Chang said. “While [in its] early days, PFL has already delivered a unique, innovative, and premium product to its fans, fighters, sponsors and media partners.  I am thrilled to help them scale the business and brand globally in the rapidly growing MMA space.”

PFL concluded its regular season this past Friday and is set to return on Aug. 13 with the first playoff event of the 2021 campaign. The card will take place Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., and is expected to included boxing champion Claressa Shields’ second MMA bout. The event will air on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

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