Kevin Harvick, Inc., owned by NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick and wife DeLana, has been a part of NASCAR for a decade and will reach outside of the auto racing industry for the first time to manage athletes. The company announced on Thursday that it has signed UFC lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as its first client.
“It's an honor and privilege to have this new relationship with Kevin (Harvick) and KHI,” stated Cerrone, currently ranked sixth in the UFC lightweight division. “I have learned a lot from Kevin and his management team over the last year and look forward to a long-lasting relationship both in and out of the Octagon.”
Under Harvick and the KHI management team's direction, KHI earned two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships and 53 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series in its decade of competition.
The signing of Cerrone isn’t Harvick’s first experience with the mixed martial arts industry. Mixed martial arts apparel company Tapout sponsored Harvick’s Nationwide Series car driven by Elliot Sadler in last year’s March race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the apparel company’s first sponsorship outside of fighting. It also sponsored Harvick’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series truck at Michigan International Speedway, which was driven by Harvick.
Harvick is a fan of mixed martial arts and recently worked out with top UFC welterweight contender Johny Hendricks.
KHI’s entrance into athlete management could change the landscape of sponsorship deals.
“One of KHI's strongest qualities always has been our ability to sell and maintain sponsorship in NASCAR despite the economic challenges,” Kevin Harvick said. ”With that solid foundation and the template we've created over the last 10 years, I think we are ready to take the next step to represent other athletes in other arenas. Donald is our first client in the UFC, and I'm excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead.”
Cerrone (20-5) has won three of his last four fights and is coming off an impressive win over KJ Noons at UFC 160 on May 25. He’s expected to face Rafael dos Anjos on Aug. 28 on the UFC on Fox Sports 1: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 fight card in Indianapolis.