Running Strikeforce must be an interesting experience. Everything you do gets compared to the UFC, and whenever you come up short against the behemoth that’s been doing things since 1993, people shit all over you. Case in point: merchandise. Strikeforce sold $8000 worth of swag at Strikeforce: Miami. A few weeks later, the UFC released it’s merch numbers from UFC 110 in Oz: $540,000. While you’d expect the UFC to trounce Strikeforce, this was like getting caught with shrivel dick standing next to John Holmes.
Now it looks like Strikeforce has decided to try and fix the situation and have just announced a partnership that might be able to do it:
Strikeforce officials today announced they have inked a deal with Collective Licensing International (CLI) that will push Strikeforce as a “complete lifestyle and culture brand.”
The longterm partnership will produce Strikeforce-branded footwear, apparel, accessories, equipment and other items.
Exact terms of the deal, which gives CLI the rights to license and produce all facets of Strikeforce-brand merchandise, were not disclosed.
CLI’s other clients are snowboard and skateboard companies so they definitely have experience in this field. I wonder if Strikeforce could have partnered with an MMA clothing company instead that might have a bit more experience in the combat lifestyle department. I suppose that might be easier said than done considering the UFC’s willingness to excommunicate brands that work too closely with competitors. But what if CLI’s designs aren’t douchy enough for yer average MMA fan? There’s a certain combination of skulls, foil, wings, and fleur-de-lys that hit the spot in MMA … it will be interesting to see if CLI can turn Strikeforce’s merchandise woes around.