Nike has signed up a new face for its sponsorship deal and the MMA can be proud. Jon James is the proud recipient of this honor, which is just another step forward towards legitimizing the sport. A big step.
Malki Kawa, CEO and president of First Round Management, confirmed this deal through Twitter on Wednesday. This could very well be the groundbreaking deal that opens the door to MMA being taken seriously as a sport.
Nike has sponsored such athletes as Kobe Bryant, Bo Jackson, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. While Anderson Silva has also been sponsored by the giant Nike, it doesn’t seem to have had the wide scope that this contract does.
The meetings started back in November and progressed from there. At first there was little interest in North American or global MMA as a whole but Jon was able to make things swing his way. By the end of the meetings Jones had proven what a true athlete and person he was and a deal came through.
According to Kawa, getting this type of deal has been a goal that Jones has been looking forward to for a long time. For Kawa, he knew that if anyone could bring a deal like this together it would be Jones. All he had to do was continue winning and everything would come together.
With Nike dipping their feet into the sport it can only mean good things to come. The credibility factor is increasing and other companies are sure to want to get into the action by following Nike’s lead. Which company is going to be next?