ONE Championship, the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in Asia, has forged partnership with one of the fastest growing electronic and appliance brands in Asia, Haier Asia Co., Ltd.
“First, I am a big fan of MMA. I am an amateur kickboxer as well. I know the mentality and the whole process of the sport. So, I know what this does for me [and the company], Haier Asia President and CEO Yoshiaki Ito told The Manila Times in an interview.
“Second, the vision that I share with the group. ONE Championship has the Asian-based [organizations]trying to be the top rank in the global scene. Currently, they are the fastest growing sports content. That fits our vision as well. We are a Chinese-owned former Japanese company with Asian talents. We are Asian based company. We want to bring [our]brands to the forefront of the global stage,” Ito added.
“Haier and ONE Championship both want to bring an exciting and unique MMA experience to the world, and this time, more particularly in Asia, and we believe there is no better time to team up than now.”
Ito, who is a friend of Chatri Sityodtong, founder and chairman of ONE Championship, said that partnering with a dynamic organization would result in more dynamic growth.
“Looking at the successful and continuous growth of ONE Championship, we believe it is the kind of organization that we want to work with. We want work with best and ONE Championship is the best there is.”
“Haier shares the same spirit as ONE Championship’s fighters. We embody the championship mentality of continuous improvement, commitment to excellence, constantly bettering ourselves with Japanese meticulousness, and working at becoming an even better version of ourselves.”
Though seemingly disparate, Ito explained that Haier and ONE Championship share a lot of commonalities.
“Both companies are constantly venturing into new markets, breaking through new ground, with ONE Championship capitalizing on the rapid growth of the sport of MMA, and Haier making the most of the increasing demand of unique and high-technology products by the modern-day consumers.
“Another thing we have in common is our Asian heritage,” added Ito San.
Ito is a Japanese that was born and raised in Thailand. He said that there is a solid MMA fan base in Japan and many fighters are also based in that country.
Ito added that his business and martial arts background would definitely come into play to make the Haier-One partnership a success.
“I have lots of different industry background. Mostly, I have done fairly satisfactory job with my track records. I have lots of essence and key successful factors. I am trying to bring those factors to Haier so it can go with next level and partnering with MMA is one key component.
Ito considers the Haier-ONE Championship partnership long-term.
“I do not know the future. This is not a regular sponsorship event. I share the same vision with them. They inspire me. I think this is a win-win strategic alliance. It’s not like a one-year shot. I hope that we grow together; ONE Championship to be the top content provider and Haier to be the top appliance company,” Ito said.
ONE Championship will return to Manila on December 11 with an edition titled ONE: Spirit of Champions featuring the inaugural ONE heavyweight world championship bout between Filipino-American Brandon “The Truth” Vera and British Chi Lewis “Chopper” Parry.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID