The Sneaker Brand Collaborating with Big-Time UFC Stars

An unsuspecting sneaker brand from Melbourne, Australia, is now making waves worldwide by collaborating with some of the biggest UFC fighters. We say unsuspecting, because Athletikan was only founded in 2016, but has managed to secure some of the biggest names on the circuit.

They’ve already collaborated with names like TJ Dillashaw, Paige Van Zant, Rose Namajunas & Francis Ngannou to name a few. In some ways, it’s a natural fit. Athletikan really portrays itself as an edgy street-like athleisure brand, a far cry from the politically correct, curated brand feeds that we often see in the athleisure world. A quick scroll through their Instagram feed shows a plethora of bright shoes, edgy street photos, fighters, boxers and very attractive models. A match made in heaven, really.

The brand has really found a somewhat unofficial affiliation with MMA fighters by collaborating with some of the biggest stars. It’s a clever strategy for a business without having the big bucks to spend like it’s established counterparts. We interviewed one of the co-founders of Athletikan, Joe Tamburrino, about the meteoric rise and how they came to collab with these UFC heavyweights. Joe says that “we were initially just putting the product into the hands of these guys to see what they think of the product. The next thing we’re doing new sneaker collabs with some of the biggest fighters. It was pretty crazy.” Athletikan now has over 60,000 followers on Instagram and Joe credits a lot to the exposure that the collaborations have given them. “It’s been really phenomenal, it’s really put us on the map and legitimized us as a proper brand amongst the giants”.

Athletikan has thus far collaborated with several fighters to bring out their signature shoes. Here’s a few of the recent releases:

TJ Dillashaw x Athletikan

TJ Dillashaw x Athletikan “Champ Edition”

The former two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion released the “Champ Edition” with Athletikan when he was at the absolute peak of his powers. Athletikan are known to release their new editions in limited stock, so they tend to sell out pretty quickly which causes increased demand and value. TJ Dillashaw’s release was no exception, selling out it minutes.

Rose Namajunas (Thug Rose) x Athletikan

Thug Rose x Athletikan

There’s no denying the influence of Rose with over 1.5million followers with some of those including Cristiano Ronaldo and former president-elect Tulsi Gabbard. Rose & Athletikan have very recenly partnered on an ‘Electric Yellow’ release, and pwoah, the imagery is absolute fire.

Michelle Waterson x Athletikan

Michelle Waterson

Michelle needs no introduction. The former number 1 women’s atomweight fighter in the world collaborated with Athletikan on her own signature shoe and it’s absolute fire. The shoe, which sold out in a matter of minutes, featured a triple red base with subtle black features. Very cool.

“We never planned to get so much support from MMA fighters, but we’re grateful for the opportunity!”

Joe Tamburrino, Co-founder athletikan

Aside from the epic collaboration releases, the brand has also collaborated with some of the athletes on a smaller scale as pictured below, including Alex Volkanovski, Francis Ngannou and Megan Anderson.

When asked about whether Athletikan plans to continue collaborating with UFC fighters, co-founder Joe Tamburrino had this to say; “we never intended to exclusive work with MMA fighters, or athletes from any one category. We’ve done some really cool collabs with some of the best DJ’s in the world and athletes from other sports. But we’ve now got some of the fighters coming to us asking for product and collabs which is really cool and definitely validates our product and what we’re doing”.

Tap here to check out Athletikan’s range of sneakers.

For more information on Athletikan and its collaborations head to the Athletikan website for details.

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