Nate Quarry. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to grow and flourish, more and more mainstream sponsors are beginning to appear on the shirts and shorts of fighters from a variety of organizations.
Being strictly a basketball-related clothing company for a number of years, And1 might seem like an odd sponsor for a fighter, but former UFC middleweight title challenger Nate Quarry will be sporting the logo on his shorts during his upcoming fight against Demian Maia at UFC 91 on November 15.
From NBC Sports:
Quarry will unveil his new sponsor during his UFC 91 matchup with Demian Maia on Nov. 15. And1 will be one of two primary sponsors for Quarry, with a logo on his fight shorts and octagon signage, along with Nuvasive, the medical company which developed the spinal fusion procedure that saved his fighting career.
“On paper it almost makes no sense whatsoever. I can’t wear basketball shoes into the octagon,” Quarry said with a laugh. “But And1 believes it’s great exposure for their overall brand. They are big fans of the sport and the whole company is excited about it.”
The deal came about partly because of Quarry’s friendship with NBA player Steve Blake, an And1 athlete and guard for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Blake has an interest in jiu-jitsu and has trained with Quarry (also a Portland resident) during previous off-seasons. Recently, Quarry was telling Blake of his efforts to gain new sponsors. Later, Blake spoke with Rod Keller, And1’s director of brand and sports marketing, about sending Quarry some gear, and Keller, a longtime martial arts practitioner himself, grew intrigued with the idea of signing a mixed martial artist to the brand.
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