Kyle Dake defeated Hassan Tahmasebi of Iran on Wednesday night (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)Lutte, which also holds the exclusive licensing and manufacturing rights to mixed martial arts brands Cage Fighter and CF Athletic, entered the authentic athletic mixed martial arts branded apparel business in 2007 and has been a prominent supporter of the mixed martial arts and mixed martial artists at all levels of the sport since entering the Octagon at UFC 74.
Dake, who made history in March by becoming the first ever athlete to win four NCAA championships in four different weight classes, is the first athlete in the history of the sport in the United States to receive a multi-year guaranteed contract to endorse both an apparel & shoe brand immediately following the completion of his collegiate wrestling career. In 2011, Lutte also signed two-time NCAA champion, Jordan Burroughs, to a then historic multi-year endorsement agreement to represent the CF Athletic brand's growing wrestling apparel category.
The agreement between Lutte and Dake is also historic as Dake will not only wear CF Athletic combat apparel to train and compete in at the international level, but he will also be the first athlete in the history of the sport to put his name on a wrestling shoe immediately following the commencement of his collegiate career. Dake's yearly compensation will likely garner him well over six figures per year as Lutte is the first company in the history of the sport of wrestling to pay an athlete a percentage of sales in line with the rates received by athletes in other major professional sports in the United States.
The announcement of this historic business relationship between Lutte (which means Wrestling in French) and Dake comes on the heels of the International Olympic Committee's announcement in February that the IOC executive board recommended the sport of wrestling bedropped from the Olympic program in 2020.
"We believe in the sport of wrestling long term and we believe in Kyle Dake," says Lutte's Founder & President Michael DiSabato, a former D1 wrestler at The Ohio State University. "Wrestling is the oldest and greatest sport in the world and has always been the cornerstone of our brand and the athletes we choose to endorse. We believe in wrestling at all levels and our deal with Kyle shows that the numbers are significant enough in our sport to compensate athletes who compete in the sport fairly," says DiSabato. "The name Dake means winner as Kyle has represented himself and our sport at the highest level both on the mat and in the classroom."
Kyle Dake won four NCAA Division I championships at Cornell (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)Lutte is expected to launch its on-the-mat relationship with Dake today as the Ithaca, N.Y. native is scheduled to debut on the international wrestling scene at the Rumble on the Rails event set for the historic Grand Central Station in New York City this afternoon against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dake will also compete later this year for a spot on the U.S .World Team in Stillwater, Okla., in June. Lutte has already begun work on the first generation CF Athletic KyleDake signature shoe set for release later this year. The CF Athletic Dake signature shoe is to be appropriately named, The Revolution.
"One thing is clear to me and many in wrestling, we need to change the way our sport is marketed and the way our athletes are compensated. Look at the UFC, NBA, NASCAR, PGA and the NFL for examples. The athlete story is what builds brands and builds fan interest. The REVOLUTION is coming." Says DiSabato.
Lutte Licensing Group, LLC is a boutique manufacturing and licensing company started by Michael H. DiSabato. Lutte Licensing Group owns exclusive licensing rights to prominent mixed martial arts brands including Cage Fighter and CF Athletic. Cage Fighter. CF is worn by undefeated UFC title contender and two-time U.S. Olympian Daniel Cormier. CF has also been worn by some of the finest athletes in mixed martial arts including Chuck Liddell, B.J. Penn, Urijah Faber, Forrest Griffin, Gray Maynard, Mo Lawal, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Josh Thompson, Phil Davis, Chris Weidman and Mike Swick. DiSabato is also credited for developing the first and only mixed martial arts lifestyle brand, MMA Elite, to be sold to Walmart stores in both the U.S. and Canada.