Haier Asia Co., Ltd. and Haier Philippines, Inc. are proud to announce the brand’s exciting new partnership with ONE Championship (ONE), the largest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization in Asia. While the collaboration seems unlikely at first glance, with Haier being an electronic and appliances brand, and ONE a name in the world of sports, Haier Asia President and CEO Yoshiaki Ito explains how fitting the partnership is. “Haier and ONE Championship are actually similar in more ways than you think,” says Ito-san.
Aside from both companies taking pride in their Asian heritage, Haier and ONE also share the same vision, which is to bring their brands to the forefront of the global stage. With this as a target, both work at understanding their market and creating products and producing shows that cater to the needs of their consumers/audience. They are also constantly venturing into new markets, breaking through new ground, with ONE capitalizing on the rapid growth of MMA as a sport, and Haier making the most of the increasing demand of unique and high technology products by the modern-day consumers.
The partnership strongly reflects the company’s ideals and mindset. “Just like ONE Championship, we continuously aim to bring the best of what we do to the Asian people, in our case, through our home appliances,” says Ito-san. “Haier also shares the same spirit as ONE’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,” he adds.
This October, Haier and ONE Championship will bring an exciting MMA experience to the Philippines with one amazing fight, featuring MMA superstars Brandon “The Truth” Vera, Chi Lewis “Chopper” Parry, and Mark Striegel, with the winner set to be crowned the ONE Championship Heavyweight World Champion. The showdown is happening on December 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Fans of the sport can expect the fight to be an event like no other, as champions meet champions for this special collaboration.
After the Pressconference we got the chance to interview Haier Asia President and CEO Yoshiaki Ito about this unique new partnership:
How did this partnership come about?
Ito: First of all, I think it’s important to mention that I’ve always been a huge fan of MMA. It may come as a surprise to you, but I’m actually an MMA fighter myself. I’m not a professional fighter, but with this as a background, I believe it’s not very surprising anymore how the decision to partner with ONE Championship came to be.
Another thing that has brought this partnership to life is my friendship with the Chatri Sityodtong, the founder and chairman of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest sports media property. Our BROTHERHOOD shares the same vision: to bring our brands to the forefront of the global stage. We wanted to build something big for both of our brands in Asia and beyond.
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.
Putting your long-time friendship with ONE Championship aside, what made you choose ONE Championship to partner with, over other names in the industry?
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.
What does this partnership mean to Haier?
The plan is to creatively utilize MMA as a sport, and all that encompasses it, to boost the brand awareness for Haier and its market presence, leveraging on people’s excitement for the sport, to build our brands and improve the business. Grounded on the unbreakable bond of kinship, Haier rightfully associates itself with another champion—an alliance that fosters greatness and success. Championing the white goods category allows Haier to continue developing strong business alliances with equally solid brands, such as ONE Championship.
Haier Asia and ONE Championship are two very unlikely brands to forge a partnership, with Haier being an electronic/appliances brand and ONE Championship a name in the world of Sports. What did you think would make this partnership work despite the distinct difference, as far as the nature of business is concerned?
Haier and ONE Championship are actually similar in more ways than you think.
First both brands are based in Asia, with a global audience. Second, ONE Championship focuses on local fighters and creates national, homegrown heroes. It is their key to success, because majority of sports fans want to see local heroes whom they can relate to. ONE has worked hard to build up Asian MMA heroes. This has had a trickle effect and has indirectly led to the growth of the sport in various Asian countries. In the same way, Haier offers innovative products that are localized; products that cater to the needs of each particular market we penetrate.
Haier and ONE Championship, in a sense, relate to consumers/audience by understanding their needs and innovating products/entertainment to cater to that.
And lastly 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.
What is a champion to you/how do you define a champion?
As a company whose mission is to create and offer the most innovative products for our consumers’ home, we define a champion as someone who aims for continuous improvement, someone with unwavering commitment to excellence, and someone who constantly works at becoming an even better version of himself.
That is the mentality that we have at Haier. Just like ONE Championship, we continuously drives for CHAMPION-like improvements and bring the best of what we do to the Asian people, in our case, through our home appliances.
What are Haier’s plans following its re-launch early this year?
As Haier Asia’s CEO, I am driving the company to do things differently from the norm. We are investigating new ways of doing the white goods business and finding new markets, and introducing new products that the world has never seen before.
You can also expect brilliant partnerships with world-renowned brands. Our involvement with One Championship is actually our biggest event following our re-launch last July, and this is only the beginning. Haier is working out its consumer promotions and CSR programs ~ to give back to the community, and this will be initiated and presented in November 2015 and January 2016 by Haier Philippines .