Alexander Engelhardt, standing, revealed the proposed budget for 2022 at the GAMMA World Congress today in Amsterdam ©GAMMA

The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) has proposed a budget increase of 56 per cent for 2022 with an increased focus on social responsibility initiatives.

President Alexander Engelhardt revealed the dramatic growth of financial freedom at the governing body's World Congress held here in Amsterdam.

The budget for 2021 was €1.02 million (£855,000/$1.1 million) while the provisional funds for the coming year stand at €1.6 million (£1.3 million/$1.7 million).

The biggest portion of funds has been set aside for marketing and communications as GAMMA has identified it as the key to increasing the popularity of mixed martial arts.

The department will now receive approximately €500,000 (£416,000/$549,000) compared to the previous €235,500 (£196,000/$258,000).

Engelhardt said that, in its beginnings, GAMMA was not concerned with showcasing its events as it wanted to focus on the sport and getting athletes into the arena.

However, the Dutchman states that greater importance will now be placed on broadcasting and advertising which was inline with the wishes of its national federation members, according to a survey carried out prior to the Congress.

A focus is set to be placed on the online content with a revamped plan in the works.

"Target to develop and implement an integrated digital strategy that enables GAMMA to engage with, grow and inspire its audiences across all platforms while emphasising the values of the organisation is an important element," said Peter Stafford of MSM PR & Communications, which is in partnership with GAMMA.

Alexander Engelhardt, standing, has pushed GAMMA's focus onto broadcasting its events in the hopes of attracting a larger audience ©GAMMA
Alexander Engelhardt, standing, has pushed GAMMA's focus onto broadcasting its events in the hopes of attracting a larger audience ©GAMMA

"A consistent approach should be utilised, one that is instantly recognisable, impactful and long-lasting."

GAMMA's increased commitment to social responsibility is evident as the budget has skyrocketed from €18,000 (£15,000/$19,000) to €245,000 (£204,000/$269,000).

It has taken on ownership of Ru Camp, which utilises mixed martial arts to prevent youth committing crimes and ending up incarcerated.

The organisation will also be continuing its work with Fight4Future, Sports For Everybody and the #ifightcampaign which help underprivileged children take up sport in Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and Palestine, respectively.

Money for events has decreased from €288,200 (£240,000/$316,000) to €200,000 (£166,000/$219,000) but despite this Engelhardt has insisted that the same number of championships will still be held, with a 10-strong line-up touted for 2022.

Sport development will now receive around €480,000 (£400,000/$527,000), which marks an €89,100 (£74,000/$97,000) increase while GAMMA looks to hire more staff as its secretariat budget has risen from €92,500 (£77,000/$101,000) to around €175,000 (£146,000/$192,000).

Despite the vastly increased budget, Engelhardt says that GAMMA is expecting to receive less income from sponsorships, putting it down to COVID-19 tightening the purse strings of its partners.

However, he has anticipated that the organisation will increase its income by 50 per cent as a result of diversifying its sponsors and bringing in multiple sources of finance in an attempt to not become dependent on one stream.