Kill Cliff CEO John Timar talks about sponsorship of Kill Cliff FC
The sport of MMA is constantly evolving. Compared to other sports like baseball and football, MMA is still in its infancy. The UFC and other organizations do a good job promoting certain fighters, but sometimes it takes more than talent to make it to the big show. There are so many things that go into a fighters training camp, expenses, good coaches and training partners, nutrition, and more. All of this weighs on a fighter both mentally and financially. Having support in this regard is immeasurable. That being said, finding ways to help in these areas can be difficult. It’s something that beverage company Kill Cliff is looking to help.
Kill Cliff is a clean energy drink company that recently took over one of the biggest MMA teams in the world. Kill Cliff FC, formerly Sanford MMA, is home to some of the best fighters in the world including Robbie Lawler, Gilbert Burns, Michael Chandler, and more. The addition of Kill Cliff as a main sponsor came naturally. Kill Cliff CEO John Timar sat down with My MMA News to talk about the partnership.
“This one seemed like a really cool opportunity for us because at Kill Cliff, myself other people there, we all train so we’re already passionate about the sport we’ve trained before, that’s part of our way of life, but the opportunity to assume the naming rights and somehow rename this great gym that has 80 fighters and fights every weekend around the world in UFC, Bellator, ONE , PFL and others, it was a unique opportunity to really get the brand out there through a lot of organic assets in the MMA media,” Timar told My MMA News It’s a really strong look at the company that we and what we’re trying to build in. So that was kind of one of those opportunities, it was like we’re looking at what I was, that’s probably one of the best ways to develop and enhance our brand awareness.
The addition of Kill Cliff as the main sponsor of the gym is that it allows for necessary updates and improvements.
“We’re updating the facilities in Florida, so there’s a lot going on with that,” Timar said. to support the team. So I think that stuff is, it’s in the future.
In MMA, sponsorships are the lifeline to being able to compete. When the The UFC brought in Reebok as a main sponsor, many athletes had to get rid of other outside sponsors that they may have had for years. The cost of training, food, recovery, training, etc. really adds up and for fighters who aren’t champions or heads of divisions, making ends meet can be a difficult path. Kill Cliff sponsors some of the biggest names in MMA including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanyabut they are now able to help much more than that with Kill Cliff FC.
“To attract us as a small brand, he tries to make as much noise as possible. We have at the moment, somewhere in the kingdom of 80 fighters, they fight throughout the year,” Timar said. “So you have fighters fighting every weekend, they’re in the press, and it’s an opportunity for us to build brand awareness. So that’s a good thing for us, but we don’t “We’re in no way considering stopping people on the team from having their own sponsors. We want our team to be really successful. And if somebody comes out and gets a ticket, they’re there on our team, but if he’s got a different dream sponsor we don’t care we’re not going to put out the fires and try to make money for themselves we’re just the name of the gym they practice. Yeah. They’re just getting some clarity.
A member of Kill Cliff FC’s new team, Li Jingliang, talked a bit about the brand’s new cover in his UFC Long Island pre-fight interview.
“It’s a good thing for our sport, I would like to see more brands spend money on this sport and sponsor our sport, it’s a good thing for us,” said Jingliang. “I think we should show these big brands more to see how popular our sport is and show the sportsmanship that we have, the warrior spirit that we have from our athletes.
“We kind of kicked off the new era and mixed martial arts where you start to see these gyms get sponsors, and that allows gyms to really nurture the fighters and the community,” Timar said. “It’s one of the ways gyms can grow and thrive and, and bring in a whole new era of young fighters.
There is also a great nutritional aspect to the partnership. Kill Cliff prides itself on being a clean energy drink for athletes. Fighters in particular need to be wary of what they put into their bodies. UFC athletes are at the mercy of USADA and must undergo random drug testing. The highest level fighters watch what they eat and are very strict about what they eat, Kill Cliff sees that.
“There is a big nutritional component and what we find is that a lot of these fighters, their health and their diet is obviously a big part of being an elite athlete, being able to perform at that level. There are many of them that we don’t even really consume energy drinks before our brand due to the lack of clean and healthy options. We changed that with the team. A brand where you have a premium product using premium ingredients, and you’re in a hyper competitive category. That’s sort of what the larger experience is, for us in terms of when we undertook this? Yeah, there was an alignment with our brand, there’s an alignment with our interests, and there was a massive audience where you could see the attributes of where we grew up apply to the attributes of this new audience .
This is a giant leap for MMA. Kill Cliff and its sponsorships could pave the way for more big brands to play a bigger role in MMA. The sport has never been more popular and the athletes who fight every day are the ones who should thrive. Maybe in a few years we will see rivalries like Kill Cliff FC against another marquee gym, with all the fighters involved, happy and thriving.