Entrepreneur Magazine looks at Affliction, MMA Apparel

April 29, 2009

Entrepreneur Magazine has a look at Affliction Apparel and the face of the company, Tom Atencio. Affliction is the focus of the article but other players in the culture and style of MMA are touched on, such as TapouT, as well as efforts at Apparel by the UFC and Bellator. The article touches on Affliction’s promoting efforts briefly, but apparel talk dominates the piece. While other areas are cooling off, MMA lifestyle apparel is hailed as a area for triple digit growth rates:

“There’s been tremendous growth in the MMA apparel market,” says Eric Foster, president and COO of MMAjunkie.com, one of the sport’s most visited independent sites. “The companies that are successful are run by real MMA fans who understand the sport.”

To Foster’s point, Affliction, whose other staffers also sport huge muscles and acres of scar tissue, has seen average annual growth of more than 300 percent in the past two years. (Foss says the company broke the $100 million revenue mark in 2008.) What’s more, says Atencio, “MMA is still in its infancy. In five to 10 years, it will explode.”

While the MMA end of the business is still hot, Afflcition also is looking to other areas for growth:

As more and more companies try to ride the MMA wave, Affliction continues to expand its clothing line–and reputation–beyond the ring into higher-end evening wear. Co-founder Eric Foss even has his sights on the women’s market.

Affliction seems to walk a fine line between their MMA offerings and their non-MMA stuff. Their high-end jeans is one example of this. Having a wider product mix like that does act as a hedge against one segment going into a tailspin.

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