NEW YORK (April 9, 2008) — Everlast Worldwide Inc., manufacturer, marketer and licensor of sporting goods, apparel, footwear, and other active lifestyle products under the Everlast brand name is proud to announce that they have partnered with Randy “The Natural” Couture with a long term exclusive contract. Couture a six-time UFC Champion and the most celebrated name in the sport was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and was the first fighter to hold titles in both the Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions.
This long-term partnership marks the commitment of Everlast to become the premiere brand in the fastest growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts. The partnership with Couture allows him to exclusively wear Everlast fight shorts, fight gloves, training equipment and training apparel. In addition, Everlast will be the exclusive equipment and apparel sponsor of Xtreme Couture Gyms, in all locations. Together, Everlast and Couture will collaborate on a co-branded line of MMA equipment that will set the standard for equipment and apparel in MMA. Additionally, the partnership will work on developing grassroots programs to teach the youth, and create fitness clinics and retail concept shops.
As an industry leader in boxing equipment and apparel, entering into the arena of MMA is a natural progression for the Everlast brand. “Our goal is to become the number one performance equipment and apparel brand within the Mixed Martial Arts space, and Randy Couture is the perfect partner for this mission. He is a living legend within the sport, and his dedication to fitness and the overall fighting community aligns perfectly with our brand ethos,” explains Neil Morton, CEO of Everlast. “Together with Randy, we will be able to bring this tremendous sport to new levels with authenticity and dedication to making the best product the sport has to offer.”
In 2007, Couture opened up the first of five Xtreme Couture Gyms that encompass all of the training methods and fighting techniques found within the sport.
“Xtreme Couture Gyms have quickly become the Mecca for training fighters,” explains Randy Couture. He continues, “By entering into a partnership with Everlast, we join a proud heritage of fighting champions, and further surround our members with product to elevate their training and competition experience.”
“As the equipment and apparel sponsor of Xtreme Couture Gyms, it is imperative to continually develop product that fulfills the performance needs of the evolving MMA consumer on both a training and competitive level,” comments Adam Geisler, President of Everlast. He continues, “Additionally, MMA training is gaining popularity amongst today’s younger athletes as a cross training regimen and overall exercise program. We will utilize Randy to help bring the sport to a broader base of consumers in today’s active gym environment.”
The Everlast MMA equipment line will hit retail in September of this year, and will be sold in Sporting Goods, Sport Specialty, and Online Distribution channels.