Reported by NISH.
If you've seen the latest post on Instagram you'll see some very BIG and exciting news regarding signing a contract with Paradigm Sports in sponsoring and supporting some of their elite global athletes around the world including MMA, NBA, NFL and soccer stars (football back in Europe).
Obviously our CEO, Jamie Lundy, might think this is very exciting, but why, what's it all about and what is 7L doing mixing in and around Mixed Martial Arts? Well I caught up with Mr. Lundy and launched him a couple of inquisitive questions so we can all keep up?
Nish: So, we've seen the post on Instagram regarding the signing of a contract with Paradigm Sports and some of its UFC fighters. I wondered whether you could just elaborate and enlighten us on this a bit more and possibly explain to our fans and follows your vision?
Jamie: Haha...Hi mate, yes of course. Basically years ago I trained for 10 years in Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) and Muay Boran under Master Sken (http://www.msastockportmuaythai.com) as I was trying to keep off the booze and get fit. Master Sken's Head Quarters was literally down the road from me, so I thought I'd give it a go. I was hooked and from that moment trained about 5 times a week and then started a little bit of teaching with the kids etc. Loved it.
Nish: So how is this applicable to the UFC?
Jamie: Back in the day, it was difficult to learn more about Muay Thai online so read lots of books, but I did stumble across a channel called Zuffa (I think) and saw a sport that didn't just involve Muay Thai but other mixed martial arts too. I think it was around the year 2000 - 2002 I was hooked watching the likes of Chuck Liddell , Tito Ortiz , Vitor Belfort Absolute legends.
In January 2005, Spike TV launched The Ultimate Fighter 1 with Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar going toe-to-toe for the right to earn the six-figure contract. It was just brilliant to watch and every fighter had his own back story to tell. These were real men, coming from nothing and becoming legends in front of our eyes.
Nish: So how come you never did MMA?
Jamie: Other than Master Sken's in Stockport there wasn't many Mixed Martial Arts gyms about. It wasn't very popular in the UK then and many people still hadn't heard about it. Or there was a misconception about the sport back then. I stuck with Muay Thai and kept watching the UFC when I could. Back in the day it was difficult to watch in the UK as Dana White was constantly doing new TV deals (Fox TV) and was very good at blocking pirate channels or NZB downloads etc. Not that I ever did any of that....hahaha!
Nish: Do you still do Muay Thai now?
Jamie: Unfortunately not. I started working away from home a lot and the gyms in different towns along the way did't really have any Thai Boxing or MMA gyms. It was the early to late 00's so I think the UK was still catching up. With a sport like this you have to keep going, keep strong, fast and flexible.
Nish: So why now, why are you looking at bringing it into the brand?
Jamie: For starters, why not? 7L are all about high performance apparel and outerwear so something like MMA is perfect for us to develop our 'Movement System' with.
From the very beginning of this brand, I have always wanted 7L to develop its own 'Active' or 'Movement System' and be linked with high performance sports like MMA (mixed martial arts) and of course the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). But like anything, it takes a lot of hard work, time and a bit of luck to sometimes achieve your goals. Five years ago the UFC seemed a million miles away from where I was, but now its within touching distance, especially with our new partners Paradigm Sports.
Nish: So whats the story with Paradigm? Who are they and how did they find out about 7L?
Jamie: Long story, but it started around 3 years ago when I contacted a commentator in the sport called Laura Sanko. She thought the brand was great so I sent her one of our Limited Edition Waterproof 413 Longline Parka's in Pink. It was made using state of the art Schoeller fabrics, including C_Change Membrane Technology (https://www.schoeller-textiles.com/en/technologies/c_change) and had the standard Ecorepel DWR (https://www.schoeller-textiles.com/en/technologies/ecorepel) and Cold Black technology (https://www.schoeller-textiles.com/en/technologies/coldblack).
Laura absolutely loved it and we have kept in touch ever since. I shared my plans with her about developing pieces for a 'Movement System' and then BOOOM the pandemic hit and put a stop to all R&D work.
Nish: So looks like you've managed to reignite that project again?
Jamie: It was a few weeks ago now and I had a message request on Instagram from a gentleman called Brandon Ramos, who worked for a company called Paradigm Sports. Of course, I recognised the company straight away. I knew it was linked to high performing sports and the UFC. It turns out they got our contact details from Laura and the rest is history they say.
Nish: So Laura really helped out?
Jamie: Absolutely. I owe her. We've also invited Laura onto the 7L Off-Piste Podcast, which she accepted, so we will be interviewing her about her incredible story securing her place in a male dominated sport as she's just become the first ever UFC female commentator in the sports history. Inspiring stuff.
Jamie: Yes, yes sorry. Paradigm Sports
Paradigm Sports is basically a full-service management agency that sets itself apart as a multi-sport, business, and media company. It manages and enhances the careers of many of the top athletes on earth and builds some of the coolest brands and companies with them. They havre transformed the sports management industry with the launch of successful business ventures alongside their clientele, such as Proper Number Twelve, McGregor Fast, and August McGregor. They also manage the careers of some of the most prominent athletes in the world, like Conor McGregor, Rico Verhoeven, Israel Adesanya, Jozy Altidore, and Josh Tupou. Founder and CEO, Audie Attar, brokered the "Money Fight" between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor back in 2017 which, to date, remains one of the highest revenue-generating events in combat sports history. So its a pretty big deal.
Jamie: Haha...yeah pretty impressive aye, and its fits very well with us.
Nish: Ok so the Ricardo Ramos fight makes sense now. What can we expect?
Jamie: Well I fly over the Las Vegas the week before the fight and I'll be watching Ramos at the press conference and the main event. If you don't know about Ricardo yet, check him out. He is awesome. He'll be donned in 7L before and after the event and we'll continue to support him, along with other key fighters into the future. The idea with this is to grow the brand along with the fighters.
Nish: You mentioned Research and Development?
Jamie: Yes a part of our New 'Movement System' we'll be developing simple active wear to more complex technical apparel including waterproof shells, smocks and technical base layers. These will be developed along with the high performance sportsmen and women to ensure we fuse the fashion side of our brand with the functional side.
As you can see, the passion Lundy has for 7L and performance in general in clear to see. He has a high respect for anyone who grafts at what they do to fulfil their dreams and potential. He quite clearly has a vision so it'll be interesting to see where it takes us. For me, it looks like my next trip is to Las Vegas to interview Ricardo Ramos and take some BTS pictures.
Fusing Fashion with Function. Its what we do best!