Van Heusen parent company PVH Corp. announced on Tuesday (July 31) a partnership deal with mixed-martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to establish a marketing campaign for its Van Heusen brand, known for its suits and business attire, that will place its office-appropriate clothes on professional fighters in commercial spots to attract the fanbase around the world.

UFC Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships Paul Asencio expressed delighted about the partnership that will enable UFC athletes to "wear stylish and flexible business apparel without compromising their comfort, individual style or look." As a part of the pact, UFC will place Van Heusen branding within Octagon during the UFC 227 at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, according to Bloomberg.

Two UFC fighters TJ Dillashaw and Stephen Thompson will be featured in a commercial (kicking, punching and grappling in an MMA match as they dress in business casual attire) for the brand that promotes Van Heusen Flex Collection of men's shirts and pants. The company will put commercial and campaign creative on various mediums, including television, websites and social media.

The campaign will last through the fall and holiday seasons.

The impact of sports and fashion brands on men's marketing

PVH is one of the world's largest apparel companies that own iconic fashion brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klien. The company believes that sports and fashion suit brand impacts men's marketing. Various brands have partnership deals with athletes across sports like tennis, golf, and swimming.

Several athletes who play basketball and football have become influencers in terms of fashion (with the exception of workout clothes and on-field gear).

Fashion influencers include Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook who launched fashion clothing line at Barneys New York and former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz who was featured in an ad campaign for French luxury fashion brand Givenchy's. UFC star Conor McGregor has been seen wearing stylish suit outfits in men's magazines.

Apparently, athletes across combat sports have long been recognized for athletic achievement, not fashion. The fashion company is putting a marketing effort to build an appealing image of business casual dress for the brand as well as MMA fighters.

Current and future deals for the next-generation audience

UFC and Van Heusen did not disclose the terms of the deal, but a person familiar with the terms said the UFC's revenue will reach "double digits" over 2017, according to the report. UFC aims that the Van Heusen collaboration will help the organization achieve the ultimate goal of growing revenue. Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG acquired UFC for $4 billion in 2016.

In recent months, UFC has reached a deal with Disney-owned brand ESPN worth $1.5 billion. UFC's sales team anticipates that the ESPN-UFC deal, which begins in 2019, will give the World Leader in Sports opportunities to market its product to the new audience around the world. A source with knowledge of UFC's plans noted that the organization's deal with Trifecta Nutrition to be its first-ever meal delivery sponsor is expected to be closed.

PHV, which has approximately $9 billion in annual revenue, is selling items of The Van Heusen Flex Collection, including dress shirts, pants, suit separates and sports shirt, for $50-$200. Major retailers that sell these products include Kohl's, JCPenney, Macy's and on VanVeusen.

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