Anderson Silva Lands Nike, Corinthians Sponsorship Deals
By: Chris Nelson Aug 2, 2011
Silva enters the cage to defend his UFC middleweight title Aug.
27 in Rio de Janeiro, he will do so as the first Brazilian mixed
martial artist to be sponsored by Nike.
The 36-year-old Silva, who meets Japan’s Yushin Okami
later this month in the main event of UFC
134, recently closed a sponsorship agreement with the sports
apparel mega-brand. Nike Brazil Director of Sports Marketing Luis
Alexandre confirmed the deal to UOL.com.br Tuesday; exact terms
were not disclosed.
The news comes days after
a cryptic video of Silva appeared online, sparking rumors of
the transaction. The 90-second clip featured Silva staring
menacingly at a camera, as he would an opponent, dressed in a red
t-shirt with a prominent Nike “swoosh” logo.
With the deal, Silva joins the likes of Yoshihiro
Akiyama, Caol Uno and
Miyata as MMA fighters who have been backed by Nike. Boxing
champ Manny Pacquiao also numbers among the company’s athletes,
while ex-UFC heavyweight Kevin “Kimbo
Slice” Ferguson was featured in a series of Nike viral ads
alongside NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson in 2008.
Nike is not the only major sponsor “The Spider” has added to his
portfolio of late.
Last week, the Brazilian branch of fast-food giant Burger King
announced Silva as one of its new promotional faces. On Monday,
officials from Brazilian soccer team Sport Club Corinthians
Paulista -- also sponsored by Nike -- announced a multi-tiered
marketing initiative in which the pound-for-pound great will be
prominently featured. Silva, a well-known Corinthians booster, will
don the club’s jersey during his entrance at UFC 134 and will lend
his name to a new MMA facility to be constructed by the team in his
hometown of Sao Paulo.
All three of Silva’s recent sponsorship deals were brokered by
9ine, the upstart sports marketing firm with whom Silva joined
forces in January. The founder of 9ine, recently retired soccer
great Ronaldo, was himself a longtime Nike spokesman who finished
his career playing for Corinthians.