Georges St. Pierre continues to help lead the charge of MMA into mainstream acceptance. Earlier this year, GSP appeared in Gatorade’s “G” campaign with numerous other professional athletes, and today it was announced that Under Armour has inked GSP to a major multi-year endorsement deal. MMA Payout believes it could open the door for other major brands to enter MMA.
Under Armour signing GSP is huge for the sport. It’s more than just an endorsement of MMA’s legitimacy, the agreement also suggests that the company believes in the long-term viability of the sport (i.e., they can make money in MMA by endorsing GSP).
Moreover, the agreement may also turn the heads of other companies currently considering an entrance into the MMA business (e.g., ESPN and Nike). The question of “is MMA a fit for our brand?” becomes easier to answer when your company isn’t the first to take the plunge.
It’s definitely a far cry from the Condom Depot’s and Extenze’s of the sponsorship world. Big congrats to GSP and big round of applause for his manager Shari Spencer for landing the deal. We don’t hear much about her, but she’s clearly breaking barriers that no other manager in this industry has been able to.
Press release after the jump.
BALTIMORE, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ – Under Armour, (NYSE: UA) the Baltimore-based leader in performance apparel and footwear, announced today it has signed Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre to a multi-year endorsement deal. Under the terms of the agreement, St-Pierre, the 2008 Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year, will serve as the face of Under Armour’s Underwear, one of the company’s most popular items, and will be featured in its multi-platform media campaign beginning this holiday season.
St-Pierre, known by his fans as GSP, will be featured in imagery displayed in Sporting Goods stores across North America, outfitted in Under Armour’s ColdGearÂ®, performance apparel designed to protect athletes in cold temperatures. Beginning in spring 2010, St-Pierre will become the face of Under Armour’s long-time top-selling BoxerJockÂ® and BoxerBrief Underwear and will serve as one of the primary faces for Under Armour’s Recharge(TM) suit, a suit designed to re-energize your body, promote muscle repair and reduce swelling following a workout.
“It is quite an honor for me to represent Under Armour. I have always appreciated the quality of their products, and to be partners with them is a dream come true,” said St-Pierre.
“Not only is Georges one of the biggest stars in one of the fastest growing sports in the world, but his dedication to training and making himself the best at what he does aligns perfectly with our Brand’s mission to make all athletes better,” said Steve Battista, Under Armour Senior Vice President, Brand. “When we found out that he was a fan of ours, we jumped on the opportunity to bring him into the Under Armour family.”
“Georges St-Pierre’s continued success in MMA, his character and integrity, and his wide-reaching fan base make him a terrific brand ambassador for Under Armour, which, much like GSP, has become one of the foremost brands in sports in a short period of time,” said Howard Nuchow, Co-Head, CAA Sports, which represents St-Pierre in conjunction with Shari L. Spencer, President of GSP Enterprises. “Pairing GSP with Under Armour is a testament to the explosive growth of MMA, and the popularity and cultural relevance of its top fighter, among consumers worldwide.”
New for spring 2010, Under Armour has joined forces with Coretection Products Ltd. to bring state-of-the-art patented technology to athletes for all sports around the globe. St-Pierre will be prominently featured in in-store imagery highlighting the new Coreshort compression product. The Coreshort product works to stabilize the core without obstructing movement. The unique technology creates efficient movement through the core, activating stronger motion and more explosive propulsion. Available in two styles; the Coreshort product will retail for $44.99 and the Coreshort Pro product will retail for $59.99.
Under Armour, the originators of performance apparel, has transitioned athletes into moisture-wicking apparel since 1996. Under Armour products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe.
St-Pierre rounds out an impressive roster of NFL, MLB, NBA and Olympic stars, including Super Bowl Champions Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens) and Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants); one of the world’s most accomplished downhill skiers, Lindsey Vonn; in addition to Devin Hester (Chicago Bears), Santana Moss (Washington Redskins), Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals), Nick Markakis (Baltimore Orioles), Alfonso Soriano (Chicago Cubs), lacrosse superstar Paul Rabil, and U.S. Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis.
For more information about St-Pierre, please visit www.GSPFightClub.com.
About Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour(Â®) (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand’s moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional natural fiber products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou, China. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.underarmour.com.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com