UnderGround Forum >> Bad Boy Clothing and MMA - Cool VICE Article
|1/24/13 9:58 PM|
Member Since: 11/2/03
VICE is one of my favorite websites due to my craving for fucked up documentaries. Recently they opened up a sub-site that deals with fighting (specifically MMA.) Here is a pretty cool article/interview with the CEO of Bad Boy Clothing and he details how they became involved in MMA in the early days.
Very few professional MMA fighters make professional-athlete money, at least not the kind of mansions-and-Maybachs money we've come to expect our professional athletes to make. The sport still resides on the edges of the mainstream, and paychecks are determined largely by unpredictable performance, so fighters are forced to make ends meet through endorsement deals, covering what little clothing they wear into the cage with logos, ranging from the heights of Nike to the less-than-heights of Condom Depot. Perhaps the most famous of these logos is that of extreme-sports lifestyle brand Bad Boy, which got its start in MMA back during the sport's rough-and-tumble infancy, when legendary tough guys like Rickson Gracie and Wailid Ismail were splitting their time between introducing regulations and legitimacy to no-holds-barred fighting and getting into completely unregulated, illegitimate fights on the street. We spoke to Bad Boy CEO Robin Offner to find out how a company specializing in clothing for skaters and surfers got involved with an outlaw sport and ended up sponsoring UFC superstars like Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Wanderlei Silva.
Fightland: How did Bad Boy get involved in the early, lawless-frontier days of MMA?
You know, while the Bad Boy brand existed, it emanated from Marco’s personality, who’s still a licensee -- he’s been one for 20 years now -- this was some extreme sports guy in Brazil and was cutting it as a tight surfer and other types of extreme sports and he was doing jiu-jitsu, and he knew Rickson Gracie so he started getting these fighters to wear Bad Boy.
What was his story — he was just a guy down there that you happened to do business with?
Wait, he was giving it to the special forces guys as well?
Really? The guys that would raid the favelas?
It seems like such a different thing than what would go on here, that you would have police officers go around, especially a special forces SWAT team, going around in extreme brands. Is it something about Brazil, or is it something about you guys? How did that happen?
So they would storm a drug dealer’s house and they’d be wearing branded uniforms?
So you might’ve made the products but there was no logo on the products.
It was just a community?
Wallid is fascinating. He was a thug; he was just a guy who was going around getting in street fights, in the rioting types of street fights, the middle-of-the-mall type of stuff. He was very tight with Bad Boy and then as it became more organized, he became an organized fighter and now he’s a business guy. He owns Jungle Fight, which is a big league in Brazil that grows a lot of the fighters who go on to be in the UFC, so he’s really a business man now. He really epitomized the transformation of the street fight sports into an organized actual business.
Bad Boy was very involved in organizing the tournaments and making it more legitimate. Whereas it was just a bunch of fun in favelas before, it became an organized disciplined sport, and in order to do that you needed infrastructure. And Bad Boy provided that infrastructure for a lot of the athletes. We’d sponsor tournaments, we’d give them direction, some of them we’d give money to. They had to become legitimate. Wallid credits Bad Boy for legitimizing the sport itself.
Is it true that the eyes in your logo are Glenn Danzig’s eyes?
That's just a rumor?
Really? That’s funny because that’s the first thing someone asked me when I said I’d be talking to you was “You’ve gotta ask them if those are Danzig’s eyes!”
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