The Business Year

Search
Close this search box.
LUCHA

MEXICO - Sports

Dorian Joaquín Roldán Peña

Managing Director, Lucha Libre AAA

Bio

Dorian Joaquín Roldán Peña is a Mexican entrepreneur and has been responsible for the success and transformation of the Mexican Lucha Libre in the international landscape for the past 17 years. He has traveled the world bringing Lucha Libre to industries such as films and TV, gaming, and live events, while growing the Lucha Libre fanbase around the globe. Among his personal achievements he has been recognized in 2014 by SportsBusiness International as one of the top worldwide innovators in sports, in 2016 and 2017, as one of the top-seven most-important executives in Mexican Sports by Grupo Expansion, among many others. He has a law degree from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM) an MBA from the Instituto Panamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresa (IPADE).

"Lucha Libre is the second most-popular sport in Mexico behind soccer."
Lucha Libre is Mexico’s second-most popular sport after soccer, and its management hopes to expand its popularity in the country and beyond.
Can you tell us about what Lucha Libre, and how it differs from more types of wrestling?

Lucha Libre is the second most-popular sport in Mexico behind soccer. It is what is known in the US as wrestling and the closest they have to this is WWE, which is similar. So, it is the Mexican version of wrestling. It is effectively a soap opera though, and soap operas are obviously very popular in Latam. It is a sport, but also a massive part of Mexican culture. It has been around since 1930 and now almost 100 years after it began, the mask that the luchadores, or wrestlers, wear has become a symbol of Mexican heritage, along with tequila or the Mariachi hat. The company was founded in 1992 by my uncle Antonio Peña, who was an active wrestler before founding the company. It was initially a joint venture with Televisa, Mexico’s largest media outlet; however, in 1995 it became a family business. We have three revenue streams, firstly live events all over Mexico. We have also staged events in New York, Los Angeles, Japan, and London, where we had an event at the Royal Albert Hall. Second, there are the media rights, as we broadcast our weekly tv show, which is like a soap opera, on different platforms in Mexico and also in the US. We were the first sports league to work with the social media platform Twitch in Latam. We have also worked with Facebook, and were the first sports league in Latam to work with Meta, for which we produced two exclusive seasons of an original Lucha Tournament for Facebook Watch and a three-leg live event series for Oculus in VR. The third and final revenue stream is sponsorship, where we work with everyone from paint companies to oil companies and consumer products.

How do you see today’s market developing in terms of your own activities?

A need that we identified for this year is to tap into and present our product to the tourist market in Mexico. We launched a new kind of show that is presented much more broadly to tourists. The first was opened as a joint venture in Cancún called Luchatitlan, with a venture capital firm called Ventura Entertainment. If successful, as we expect it will be, we will expand it to other areas like Los Cabos and Cozumel. Thereafter, we could potentially franchise it for international markets, such as the US and possibly beyond. What we really want to do is increase the eyeballs on Triple-A Lucha Libre. Right now, we have a presence in Latam and the US but why not expand to Europe and Asia? Returning to the issue of IP, over the last 30 years we have built substantial intellectual property through well-known characters in Mexico and other parts of the world. Now, we want to become a media powerhouse over the next five years not just in terms of live events, but through other products we can release to the market. These could be a docu-series, animated series, or reality shows, so basically leveraging our IP to create new properties. Everything is about storytelling. The perfect example is Mario Bros or Tetris, where we see IPs becoming movies and series. And I think Lucha Libre, with its richness of product worldwide, provides the opportunity to do the same. We need to expand our IP portfolio, for example to enter Colombia, where we could deploy Colombian characters, or else to the same in Europe. Second, we need to revamp the events and employ technology to analyze fan reactions and engage with them.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

MX24_RC_HILTI_eduardo

MEXICO - Real Estate & Construction

Eduardo Silva

Interview

President & CEO, Hilti

MX24_RC_VENIT_luca

MEXICO - Real Estate & Construction

Luca Piccolo

Interview

CEO, Venit

SKY

MEXICO - Real Estate & Construction

Federico Cerdas

Interview

CEO, Global Business & Skyhaus

View All interviews

Countries

Countries

Become a sponsor