(Smile, Anderson. You’re rich.)
Last week news broke that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva had signed a landmark sponsorship deal with Burger King, whose ownership group, 3G Capital, is an investment firm whose largest investors include Brazilian billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Sicupira.
(Experts say it was this spot that got Anderson the deal with BK.)
Earlier this week week, Silva’s manager Ed Soares, who sold off his Sinister clothing line to Silverstar, TapouT and Hitman clothing ownership group Authentic Brands Group last year, announced that his client has also signed lucrative deals with both Nike and the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista soccer team.
“The Spider’s” fight shorts and walkout wear will be made by Nike and he will don a Corinthians jersey for his UFC 134 bout with Yushin Okami later this month. The club will also name their new stadium after the dominant 36-year-old Brazilian fighter.
Details of the deals weren’t released, but considering the blue chip stature of the companies, they’re likely very worthwhile.
Sponsorships of MMA fighters are nothing new for Nike. The company backs several Japanese fighters including Caol Uno, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Kazuyuki Miyata.
This is good news as it’s a sign that the sport is becoming more mainstream. The question is, are there any fighters in North America who would make a decent spokesperson for companies like Nike or BK besides Kalib Starnes and Roy Nelson?