Since 2006, the mixed martial arts promotion Strikeforce has been an ever-growing presence in the sport. While they have put on great shows on CBS and Showtime, the promotion has always been lacking in the department of merchandise and apparel.
However, all that is about to change, as officials from the California-based promotion Strikeforce announced today that a brand partnership with Collective Licensing International is in the officially in the books, though the specifics of the deal have been kept under wraps.
Through the partnership, the Denver-based licensing and brand development company, which can be linked to such brands as Airwalk, Sims, and LTD, will have the rights to “license and produce all facets of the Strikeforce brand merchandise.”
The main intrigue for Strikeforce in this deal is the fact that CLI has been brought into the world of mixed martial arts to “build the Strikeforce organization into a complete lifestyle and culture brand, securing a commanding role in the fastest growing sport in the world.”
CLI has been a big name in action sports since opening its doors in 2004, but this deal is certainly the biggest in their short history. Bruce Pettet, the company’s CEO, chimed in after the finalization of the deal, saying that, “We’re looking to build Strikeforce into a great consumer brand at retail. We are excited to partner with Strikeforce where CEO Scott Coker has successfully established relationships with world-class partners.”
The CEO of one of the few promotions thriving under the shadow of the UFC also was ecstatic over the deal with CLI.
“We are confident that CLI’s excellence in brand building will be a catalyst behind the continued growth of the Strikeforce brand and will enhance our connection with consumers worldwide,” stated Scott Coker.
Although it may be too soon to tell, it seems that Strikeforce has finally made a large leap in the right direction with this long-term deal. After years of literally no intriguing merchandise, perhaps Coker and company have broken down yet another large barrier.