INTERNATIONAL FIGHT LEAGUE ENTERS INTO STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AND LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH THE TOPPS COMPANY
World’s Number One Team-Based Mixed Martial Arts League Joins With The World’s Preeminent Brand in Collectible Trading Cards
NEW YORK, June 11, 2007 – The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, today announced a multi-year strategic partnership and licensing agreement with The Topps Company, one of the most storied brands in sports collectibles. The partnership will include the first-ever line of cards featuring IFL coaches and athletes, and will capture the league’s action and personalities in a collectible, consumer friendly, and high-quality format.
“We are very excited to begin this relationship with Topps, one of the most storied brands in the card business,” said Gareb Shamus, IFL co-founder and CEO. “This partnership is the latest in a series of moves by the sport of MMA and the IFL brand that shows how the sport will be able to reach a larger audience with compelling and unique content. It will be great way to showcase our stars through a combination of traditional trading cards, unique collectibles and new media projects.”
“The sport of Mixed Martial Arts is exciting and rapidly growing, and we are proud to partner with the IFL, their world class coaches and rising stars to make our entry in the sport,” said Ira Friedman, Topps’ vice president of publishing and licensing. “We have looked for the right entry point for the MMA category from a collectible standpoint, and feel that the IFL model is the best fit for both now and for the long term.”
The first Topps IFL branded product is currently in development. The card marketer plans its initial presentations to customers during the fourth quarter of 2007, with an expanded program in 2008 and beyond.
Topps joins an ever-growing group of IFL partners that include Microsoft Xbox, Brothers Apparel, Headline Headgear, Sandals Resorts, Warner Home Video, Dale and Thomas Popcorn, Fairtex Equipment and HeadBlade shaving products.
IFL events are televised weekly on FSN (Fridays at 11 p.m.) and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific/7 p.m. Central on MyNetworkTV “IFL Battleground.”
Topps is an international marketer of entertainment products, principally collectible trading cards, confections, sticker collections, and collectible strategy games. The Topps Company was founded in 1938 as Topps Chewing Gum, and in its early years produced a popular penny “Topps Gum” from a factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. After World War II, the company developed Bazooka Bubble Gum, and in 1950, added trading cards to its product line. Baseball cards appeared in 1951 and quickly became a vital part of pop culture, a tradition that continues to this day, and includes football (both American and European) and basketball, in addition to entertainment cards and stickers and albums, Topps also manufactures the popular lollipop brands marketed as Ring Pops, Push Pops, Baby Bottle Pops and other novelty candy and gum products.
About the IFL
International Fight League™ (IFL) is the world’s number one professional mixed martial arts sports league. IFL has its headquarters in New York and offices in Las Vegas. For more information about IFL, please see: www.ifl.tv