Monday, April 11, 2011

American Fighter strikes a major deal

Via the Dayton Daily News...

An area mixed-martial-arts company has scored a major licensing deal.

MMA apparel company American Fighter, which is based in Loveland and owned by Jeff Adler and UFC fighter Rich Franklin, has scored a deal with industry giant Affliction Clothing.

According to American Fighter spokesperson J.T. Stewart, Affliction has signed a licensing deal to put apparel in Buckle, Macy’s, Dillard’s and other “high-end stores.”

The deal runs for five years with an option for another five. Affliction, which is one of MMA’s biggest sponsors and a mainstream apparel brand, paid a “healthy” licensing fee upfront and will issue a royalty on all sales, according to Stewart.

“They deal with the fighters, marketing and distribution,” Stewart said. “They are a real player. In the time we met with them on a Thursday until the next Thursday, we had a deal done. They had already sold into four major retailers.”

Early in Franklin’s fighting career, he and Adler created the American Fighter brand from scratch. With Franklin as front man, the company has made solid strides in a crowded MMA-apparel space.

The company also sponsors many MMA fighters, including Loveland native Matt Hamill, Jeremy Stephens, Alan Belcher and Marcus Davis. American Fighter and Affliction now collectively will run the fighter-sponsorship program.

“They’ve been a great source to work with,” Stewart said. “Everyone is on the same page. It’s not real tough to do business with them.”

While most of the operations will move to Affliction’s California headquarters, the Loveland base will remain open to deal with wholesale orders and direct sales. Additionally, the American Fighter website ( will undergo an overhaul.

“This was the right deal at the right time,” Stewart said. “They can focus on expanding the apparel, and we can focus on some other projects with the American Fighter brand.”

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