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About MMA Creative

MMA Creative is a 24-year-old marketing and advertising firm with offices in Nashville, Cookeville, Tenn. and Orlando, Fla. MMA Creative is the agency of record to the Kansas City Barbeque Society, International Chili Society, World’s Championship Chili Cookoff and the American Cornhole Organization. MMA Creative also helped develop and operates the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour, the richest competition series in barbecue history. For more information, visit

Mike McCloud, Co-founder & President

Mike McCloud -- mm.jpgA 20-year veteran of strategic marketing, grass-roots advertising and event promotions, McCloud has an unparalleled understanding of the breadth and depth of competitive food events and enthusiast-based platforms. Through his parent company, MMA Creative Inc, and its food division, Trybe Targeting, he has developed national, regional and local initiatives that connect brands with fans in compelling, results-based programs throughout America. He has served as the chief marketing strategist over the past 6 years for the Kansas City Barbeque Society and subsequently the International Chili Society. From national product samplings and roll-out campaigns to culinary demo-tainment experiences, Trybe Targeting has the ability like no other firm to scale and deploy more than 500 culinary experts at more than 700 food contests, all synchronized and focused on solutions-based, integrated ROI programs. As the ultimate destination for food sport, the World Food Championships have been developed and designed to serve as the annual crescendo of these culinary capabilities. 

Larry Oliphant, Co-Founder & Vice President

Larry Oliphant -- lo.jpgLarry has led the way in strategic consumer marketing for more than 20 years. “The focus must be on the relevance and results, to effectively deliver a real ROI for corporations. For too long the focus has been on the tasks of sales-based marketing and not enough time or energy spent on the connection between the consumer, the brand and the engaged experience,” says Oliphant. Fortune 500 companies, and many of the Fortune 50 (including Kraft, General Motors, Ford, and Microsoft Business Solutions) have turned to Oliphant for development, enhancement and delivery of strategic direction and programming that moves the consumer all the way to the check-out counter and cash register. Active Food, Food Sport and Enthusiast-based marketing is now where Larry focuses his enormous experience and dynamic creativity. “Where and when a brand can meaningfully and relevantly intersect with a consumer in their identified interests, even accelerate a consumer’s enjoyment of his or her personal pursuits, the brand and the consumer can find mutually beneficial alignment. The only real result of great marketing is a customer transaction or an experience that drives that behavior. The World Food Championships, Food Sport and Active Food are the perfect platform for both endemic and non-endemic brands to deeply connect with today’s engaged consumer.” EAT – engage, activate, triumph - is Oliphant’s bottom line to results-based marketing.

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