John Tuman, copromoter of the 2009 Sacramento Pro, talks shop

By Zack Zeigler

November 5, 2009


Consider it a homecoming. After a one-year hiatus, the 2009 IFBB Sacramento Pro Men’s Bodybuilding Grand Prix returns to the historic Crest Theatre in Sacramento, California on November 7.

Copromoters John Tuman and Ted Williamson — with the help of NPC president and IFBB Pro League chairman Jim Manion — have resurrected the show. We caught up with Tuman prior to Saturday’s event.

FLEX: How many competitors are you expecting at the 2009 Sacramento Pro?
TUMAN: There will be 47 IFBB Pro League athletes — 21 bodybuilders and 26 figure competitors — along with 200-plus for the NPC division.

FLEX: In your opinion, how will this year’s competition compare to previous years?
TUMAN: It’s surpassed it in the NPC portion by about 50-60 athletes; plus we still have late registration on the day of the show, so people can still walk up on Saturday and enter. That’s when we’ll have the final numbers. Also, there are still good seats available, too. It’s going to be a good time.

FLEX: Top three qualify for next year’s Olympia. There’s a lot on the line at this show.
TUMAN: Absolutely. We have athletes coming from all over the world to compete — Europe, France, Canada and Hungary. For the NPC, we have athletes coming from 12 different states.

FLEX:You’ve been around the game a while, how do you deal with last-minute issues that arise?
TUMAN: Nothing has happened at shows that Ted or I haven’t run into. Things go wrong, you just deal with it and have a contingency plan. Always prepare for the worst. I learned these lessons from Jim Manion. I worked directly under him, and I learned a lot from him. I try to take his lead and I ask myself how he’d deal with things when stuff comes up.

FLEX: Which job is tougher — promoting the shows or judging them?
TUMAN: Probably promoting. There’s the athletes, audience, sponsors, venue, staff, judges… it’s just a lot more. You have to make sure the audience and athletes are being treated with respect and their friends and family are taken care of and the people paying to watch are taken care of as well. Surround yourself with organized staff and make sure everything is done right. The judging part, you just judge the athlete. As long as you can explain why you choose that placing, you’re good. No problem.

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