SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinch Gear, the leading performance apparel brand in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), announced a three-year endorsement agreement with former football great Herschel Walker. Recognized as the performance category pioneer in both MMA and amateur wrestling, Clinch Gear is also represented by established MMA superstars Dan Henderson, Fedor Emelianenko and Cung Le, among others.
"Herschel Walker is an ideal partner for our brand," commented CEO Bruce Pettet, CEO of Collective Licensing International, which owns the Clinch Gear brand. "His dedication, hard work and incredible accomplishments have clearly established him as one of America's ultimate performance athletes."
Walker will endorse the complete spectrum of Clinch Gear's performance apparel and gear line, including performance shorts, technical compression tops and undergarments, walkout tees and the brand's innovative Elite Series Performance Board Shorts, which have revolutionized the MMA and amateur wrestling industries. The 48-year-old heavyweight's chance for a second consecutive MMA victory will be announced soon.
"I've embraced every aspect of MMA," said Walker. "I've been living in a hotel in San Jose so I could train with the American Kickboxing Academy, which is one of the most successful gyms in MMA history. I signed with Clinch Gear because they make the best performance gear in MMA, hands down. The best training and the best gear gives me the best opportunity to succeed."
During a celebrated college career at the University of Georgia, Walker led his team to an NCAA title, won the 1982 Heisman Trophy and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The two-time NFL Pro Bowl running back played for the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and the USFL's New Jersey Generals during a professional career that lasted 15 seasons.
Walker holds a fifth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, won back-to-back American Superstars competitions in 1987 and 1988, and placed seventh in the 1992 Olympics in the two-man bobsled. The Georgia native performs 3,500 sit-ups and 1,000 push-ups each day, a routine he has maintained since high school.
"Our performance apparel features among the most technical fabrics, assembly and functionality in MMA, and that has been the case since we were founded in 2003," stated Clinch Gear GM Aaron Crecy. "We wanted to work with Herschel because he takes MMA seriously, and we respect the sacrifices he has made to succeed as a mixed martial artist."
About Clinch Gear™
Founded in 2003, Clinch Gear™ is a leading manufacturer of performance sports apparel with a particular focus on mixed martial arts and amateur wrestling. Clinch Gear is led by two-time US Greco-Roman Olympian and two-time MMA world champion Dan Henderson. Clinch Gear maintains a singular focus on product innovation, consistently seeking to elevate industry standards for fabrics and fit. Clinch Gear is headquartered in San Diego, California, and is part of the Collective Licensing International portfolio of youth lifestyle and performance brands including Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, STRIKEFORCE™, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships™ and Hind® brands. For more information, visit www.clinchgear.com.
About Collective Licensing International, LLC.
Collective Licensing International, LLC, a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS), was formed in January 2004 and is the owner and/or license operator of Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, Clinch Gear™, STRIKEFORCE™, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships™ and Hind®. Collective Licensing International is based in Englewood, Colorado. www.collectiveintl.com
About Collective Brands, Inc.
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter®, Champion® and designer collections Lela Rose for Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless and Isabel Toledo for Payless, among others; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear sold primarily through wholesale and retail, with brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider®, and Saucony®; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, Clinch Gear™, STRIKEFORCE™, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships™ and Hind®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.
SOURCE Clinch Gear