by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to gather more mainstream acceptance, the addition of major sponsors is a large part of that expansion. Alienware, Dell’s premier high-performance PC gaming brand, is the latest major sponsor to sign on to support MMA through a deal signed with Suckerpunch Entertainment and its stable of fighters.

The deal with Alienware, a subsidiary of Dell Computers, will begin immediately. It will feature sponsorship of upcoming UFC 113 fighter Matt Mitrione, who will face Kimbo Slice on the main card of the show in Montreal on May 8.

In 2006, Dell Computers was recognized as the 25th largest corporation by Fortune 500. They’ve continued to grow in the computer industry every year since that time. Alienware, which was purchased by Dell in 2006, features components used in Dell Computers for high tech gaming.

The deal will coincide with Suckerpunch’s roster of fighters, which includes UFC stars like Amir Sadollah and Pat Barry as well as WEC fighter and legendary computer gamer Jens Pulver.

Brian Butler, president of Suckerpunch Entertainment, says the deal to get Alienware on board was a long process, but the expansion of major corporate sponsors into MMA is worth the work.

“This took about a year and a half of persistence to finally hook in with the right people at Dell to make this happen,” said Butler. “We are confident that the MMA community will step up and let Alienware and Dell know that this a good move.

“While MMA is obviously one of the most popular sports in the country, the truth is that it’s very hard to convince the corporate giants to come on board. I believe that landscape is definitely changing with the crossover of NFL athletes such as Matt Mitrione, Hershel Walker, former Olympians, and just the general growth of the sport itself.”

The addition of Alienware as a full-fledged sponsor, once again shows the tremendous growing power of the sport in a worldwide market, and the dedication the fans have shown in support of the companies that come on board to help sponsor fighters.

Alienware will debut with the Mitrione fight on the May 8, and more fighters will be visible images with the brand in the coming months. The fighters will be supporting Alienware’s new M11x system which is a 11.5 inch, fully portable laptop gaming computer.

The deal to bring Alienware on board follows such blockbuster mainstream sponsors such as Gatorade and Under Armour, who have featured ads and commercials with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, as well as recent Nike ads featuring Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.