||09-17-2012 08:56 AM
Silvas Nike deal goes global, GSP signs with NOS
UFC: Ed Soares Says Anderson Silva's Nike Deal Is Now Global
When Jon Jones was announced to have signed a deal with Nike, the MMA sphere was turned on it's ear. The UFC finally had a champion repping the famous swoosh on a large scale. What flew under the radar, is that they already had a champion sporting the brand, in Anderson Silva. Despite the fact that his deal started out as a regional sponsorship, he was officially branded with the logo on his clothing for his last fight. Now, that regional deal has changed, and the UFC has two champions that have global deals with Nike. I recently spoke with Silva's manager, Ed Soares, who addressed the subject.
It started off as Nike Brazil, but it has since been made a global deal. I don't think there's another mixed martial arts athlete on the planet that deserves that more than Anderson. He's one of the best athletes out there that fits that mold, the face of Nike. Look at all the people they've sponsored. People have compared Anderson as the Michael Jordan of MMA. The best of the best have always had some sort of affiliation with Nike, and I think the brand fits Anderson better than any other MMA athlete in the world.
Ed also spoke to me a little about some of the other athletes at Blackhouse, and touched briefly on Rafael 'Feijao' Cavalcante's commission issues.
Rafael Feijao basically kind of got a little bit of the short end of the stick with this situation where they said that he tested positive, but as you can see, the California State Athletic Commission has obviously had issues with their testing. We believe 100% that Rafael is innocent, and we are staying focused on proving that innocence so he can get back in there, and fight for that Strikeforce title.
As of right now, we have to wait for CSAC to schedule a hearing for us. This happened back in May, so our next opportunity to be able to address this is gonna be in October. It's just a real shame that with everything going on with the commission, from their lack of funding or over-spending, to not following proper procedures on the testing. Everyone can see the holes in their process, and we saw that there were problems in the way that they did their testing before. It's kind of ironic that a few weeks ago, they said the testing they did for Strikeforce San Diego is invalid. If that one was invalid, what makes you think the ones from May 19th weren't invalid, too?
Georges St-Pierre Signs Endorsement Deal with NOS Energy, Part of the Coca-Cola Family
The discussion of MMA going ‘mainstream’ can cover a varied list of ideas in any given arena.
Sometimes it’s just getting more outlets like ESPN to cover MMA on television, while in other avenues it has to do with more major brands getting involved with the fight business.
Thus far companies like Nike, Under Armour and Gatorade have been some of the biggest to dip their feet into the MMA waters, and now you can add the Coca-Cola family to that list as well.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has signed a multi-year agreement to become the face of NOS Energy Drinks, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, as they enter the fray of mixed martial arts for the first time.
In the past, NOS has primarily been seen in the driving world working endorsement deals with athletes such as Ricky Stenhouse Jr., as well as the gaming industry. Now they begin a journey into MMA with St-Pierre serving as the face of the brand, while also becoming the major sponsor for this season of the Ultimate Fighter on FX.
“I feel very privileged,” St-Pierre told MMAWeekly.com about his deal with NOS. “It’s great we can work together to create a product to best fit the athlete, and with NOS that’s what it’s all about. I’m very happy to be in the family of Coca-Cola right now and to be associated with the product.”
St-Pierre was just a natural fit for the brand that NOS represents according to Arjun Chowdri, the director of sports and entertainment marketing for Coca-Cola, and he was just the right person for the company to get involved with when stepping into MMA.
“As we looked to expand we looked at different areas and MMA was a really ripe opportunity. It’s got that grit, that no nonsense, that high-performance energy that NOS is about,” Chowdri told MMAWeekly.com.
“As we looked at the sport we looked at athlete partners, Georges St-Pierre obviously jumped to the top of the list. He’s an incredible person, actually came down to our offices and we talked about our brand, he talked about his brand, and we felt like there was a very organic fit around our brand really being focused on mental focus and high performance energy and that’s really everything he does.”
St-Pierre’s deal will be a multi-year endorsement and partnership with NOS, and will expand throughout North America. Chowdri says that their major launch will be focused on the United States, but obviously with St-Pierre’s appeal in Canada, that market will be a major selling point as well.
Check out the video below to hear St-Pierre’s comments on signing with NOS as well as a behind the scenes look at the UFC champion’s photoshoot with the company in Montreal: