This week we find ourselves saying the same thing as many of you: “how did 2017 go by so fast?” 2017 was a great year for Zebra and we, along with our customers and partners, accomplished some great things.
We had a full year of partnership with Mackenzie Dern, and she accompanied us to meet many fans in California and Nevada. We hope to have her appear in new markets in 2018 and give many more of her fans a chance to meet and talk with her. Mackenzie’s growth in MMA has been exciting for us and we are proud to have played a small part in it.
Zebra also sponsored Elisabeth Clay as she battled to become one of the youngest competitors in the ADCC tournament. Unfortunately, injury prevented her from competing but the journey she took us on was incredible. Her will to compete and to become better at such a young age brought her from an unknown competitor in Alaska to one of the most talked about young stars in Jiu-Jitsu. We continue to find ways to partner with Elisabeth and Ares BJJ as they both continue to grow.
We were finally able to release White MMA Mats in the traditional style in 2017, one of the most requested new products in our company’s history. We also released White Heavy Bags and White Muay Thai Bags. One of the first gyms to take advantage of these new products was the Checkmat HQ. It has been our honor to work with amazing people like Leo and Gle Vieira and their team.
Zebra continues to invest in the martial arts community. By securing long term partnerships with some of the largest martial arts organizations (IBJJF, BJJ Tour, ATA, Midwest Aikido, MNBJJF, and Unione Italiana Jiu Jitsu to name a few), we are working towards the common goal of growing and expanding martial arts in the Unites States and around the world. We also supported martial arts and mixed martial arts events in Ireland, Alaska, United Kingdom, and Mexico as well as smaller events throughout the U.S.
Not only was Zebra in the position to support our customers and partners, but with the help of our customers we raised over $10,000 to donate to hurricane victims in the US mainland and Puerto Rico. Although MMA and Martial Arts are growing, we are all still part of a very small and tight-knit community. Coaches, athletes, suppliers, gym owners, and organizations must set aside the politics and competitions to help our brothers and sisters in need. This community that we all live, work and play in has always been founded on respect, and we encourage others to help ensure the martial arts and combat sports communities continue to grow, even in places that have faced massive hardship.
Happy New Year!
We hope you had a great 2017 and we know that 2018 will be even better. Keep up to date with all things Zebra and the industry by reading our blog, as we have many more helpful and instructive ideas coming in 2018.