AKA Licensing Program

May 24, 2010

American Kickboxing Academy has announced that it will officially begin its licensing program at this weekend’s UFC Expo that coincides with UFC 114 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The American Kickboxing Academy® is going to present opportunities to license its federally registered trademark at the UFC® Fan Expo™ on May 28-29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several American Kickboxing Academy® team members will make appearances at AKA™’s booth, including undefeated heavyweight sensation Cain Velasquez, welterweight number one contender Josh Koscheck, and fan favorites Jon Fitch and Mike Swick. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase AKA™ apparel and collect autographs, as well as to win autographed items through contests. Clients interested in licensing opportunities will have the chance to discuss ways to partner with AKA™, including affiliated training facilities and product licensing.

Payout Perspective:

I can’t help but feel as though we’re finally starting to see a bit of a business evolution within the mixed martial arts industry. Some of these companies have realized that they have valuable properties with significant exploitable potential; and, as a result, they’re now moving to license or sell those properties to earn extra revenue. We saw it first with the UFC’s merchandising and collectibles initiatives – and many would argue that they took too long to do that – and now we’re seeing brands like Tapout and AKA explore more opportunities than what are just immediately in front of them.

4 Responses to “AKA Licensing Program”

  1. jv on May 24th, 2010 3:11 PM

    It will be interesting to see if there is bad blood in the future with AKA because some one feels they either need a piece of the action or that their slice should be bigger.

  2. edi on May 24th, 2010 6:27 PM

    Affiliate and or Licensing programs have been around in the MMA world as in traditional martial arts for a long time. ATT, The Pit, Miletich, Many different Gracie family members, Original Sityodtong in Pattaya, …. now AKA. Dave Camarillo-a AKA coach even has his own program. The new UFC Gym chain.

    MMA Training programs-gyms and the business of martial arts is a huge growth area that is directly influenced by the UFC and it’s popularity. It has changed the face of the local Karate or Jiu Jitsu school. I am sure if there was a data base somewhere that could empirically measure surges in enrollment w/ UFC buyrates we could all nod our heads and smile. Or use it to make more opportunities in the Land of the Free.

  3. Brain Smasher on May 25th, 2010 3:57 PM

    Dont forget about Randy Couture. He was/is trying to expand his Extreme Couture Gyms. When it first started his stire had Info on it and was ungodly expensive and no wonder it never took off. But he also leveraged his name into a line of supplements not sure of their success. I tried the electrolite strips and they were the nastiest thing i ever tasted. Although a great idea if they actually work.

    One thing people should look into about MMA gyms before getting into an affiliate program is the history of fight gyms. Its kind of the same advise i give my brother when buy MMA fighter autographs online. Like the fighters Gyms come and go. A fighter never ends his career on a good note so you should buy when he is at the peak of popularity. It never ends good. Same with Gyms. There is always a wave of gyms who everyone goes crazy over. But as soon as a good fighter comes from another gym then all other fighters seek out that gym. Then that gym is the “best” in MMA. Lets look at the top gyms in the past. What happen to the Hammer House? At one time Coleman and Randleman were on top of the world. Team Punishment had Tito, Ricco and other top guys. MFS isnt the team it used to be. At one time they had Hughes, Tim, Pulver with belts and Pat wasnt far removed as well as some top HW contenders. Noone from there has done anything in years. At one time everyone who trained at Extreme Couture was kicking ass. Then you quit hearing anything about the gym. Billy Rush was considered the mad scientist of personal training of fighters then you never hear of him again. Its not smart to go into long term business’ with short term success’.

    AKA is not a gym i would partner with. The biggest reason is they are not a successful franchise. They are a name based on 1 few good fighters who will one day be washed up and take the name of the gym down the drain with them. They dont have a history of creating top fighters. THAT is what a successful gym needs to have to have success. Although this program will give them a better chance of getting prospects and turning them into good fighters. BUt they havent done that to show they can do they. If they can do it then they will be a name that will last for a long time. Riding on the name of a few current fighters to join forces isnt a long term success in the fight game. A better team for this is Jackson MMA but even that is questionable. To be successful with this the gym will have to continue to have big name fighters after their current group is done. As we have seen with Coleman, Tito, Hughes/Pat, Chuck/SLO, Couture, etc thei gyms die as their careers whined down.

    just my 2 cents.

  4. Alex A. on May 27th, 2010 11:30 AM

    Cool idea. AKA might as well see what the market is like. LA Boxing is another franchise that is incorporating boxing with MMA. I think Kit Cope is on the board.

    I think AKA is a brand with a generic enough name that could carry as a franchise or even as an unknown brand.

    I would be interested to see what comes as part of the deal. A curriculum? AKA retail opps? Seminars or signings by the top fighters at the time?

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