SBD/July 28, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Cirrus Fitness Signs Licensing Deals With Several Pro Leagues, Hopes To Land NFL

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Cirrus Fitness will use the leagues’ marks and logos on its equipment and in ads
New York-based Cirrus Fitness has signed licensing deals with the NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL and WNBA that allow the exercise equipment-maker to use the leagues’ marks and logos on its equipment and in ads. Cirrus Fitness President & CEO Jay Sapovits said the company also intends to apply for a license with the NFL next year. It is thought to be unusual for a fitness brand to secure multiple licensing deals with sports leagues. Sapovits said, “We feel this gives our business the best chance to succeed. Cirrus Fitness, which sells products such as yoga mats, medicine balls and stability balls, was founded in '12 by Kenny Dichter, who founded Marquis Jet and sold it to NetJets in '10. Dichter is Cirrus Fitness Chair. The company is private and does not release sales figures. Cirrus started out in '12 with licenses with three universities -- Wisconsin, Syracuse and Georgia. Sapovits said the company expanded its college licenses to 110 schools and universities within its first year in business. Cirrus began securing licenses with the pro leagues late last year. In the licensing deals, Cirrus pays a fee and then splits revenue with the league. Sapovits declined to reveal specific financial details.

ALL ABOUT THE TEAM: The deals give Cirrus the right to use the logos of the leagues as well as all of the leagues’ teams. Sapovits noted the team element is important because it gives the company the opportunity to use longtime fan avidity to sell product, as well as capitalize on teams that quickly become hot sellers. Sapovits: “LeBron coming back to Cleveland is a perfect example.” He added that a lot of general sports fans have become Cavaliers fans since James decided to return to Cleveland. Sapovits: “That is why it really makes sense to go after multiple leagues concurrently. You can capture the pro opportunities within market regions.” Cirrus products will be available not only on CirrusFitness.com, Amazon.com and fitness retail stores, but also at college bookstores. Sapovits said there are plans to expand the company’s retail distribution outlets this fall. Cirrus does not have any athlete endorsers now, but that, too, may change. Sapovits said, “That is the next generation of the business. The athletes are using the equipment already.”
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