Six Year Deal Will Eliminate Other In-Octagon Sponsors

Published on December 2nd, 2014 4:42 pm EST

A six-year deal between the UFC and Reebok was announced by UFC President Dana White and company earlier today.

The deal, which is rumoured to be worth $50 million/year, will see Reebok become the official apparel provider of the UFC. This means that ALL of the UFC's fighters, starting next year, will have to wear Reebok apparel when they fight.

This deal has major implications for the finances of every fighter that is on the UFC roster. Per the terms of the deal, other sponsors (such as MMA apparel companies, energy drinks, etc) will no longer be allowed on the shorts, hats or shirts of UFC fighters. In addition, fighters will no longer be able to bring the traditional "sponsor banner" with them to the Octagon.

So, in essence, fighters will no longer be receiving sponsorship dollars from companies other than Reebok. The only exception is if a company decides to sponsor a fighter's training camp or non-UFC related appearances. Sponsors will not be allowed at "fight week" events such as weigh-ins and press conferences.

The UFC revealed that the "vast majority" of the money that will be brought in from the Reebok deal will be spread to its fighters. Fighters will be compensated based on "tiers", which themselves will be based on fighter rankings. In essence, the higher of a rank that you have in your division, the more money you will receive in sponsorship income from the UFC. So, a fighter like Jon Jones will receive more sponsorship money than a #15 fighter in the division.

The UFC stressed that:

-every fighter on the roster, regardless of ranking (even if they are unranked), will receive money from the deal
-fighters on smaller cards (UFC Fight Pass cards, for instance) will receive the same money as those on PPV cards

-

There has been some trepidation from fighters over this deal, as sponsorship dollars are crucial for many fighters to pay the bills. If the Reebok deal works out as intended, however, fighters will have to worry less about finding sponsors and more on training for fights.

-

One more note from the deal - fighters with "branded apparel" (let's say, a Jon Jones pair of Reebok shorts) will be eligible to receive royalties on the purchase of said items.

-

The major downside for fans is that fighters will not be as individualized in terms of their Octagon apparel. For instance, Fedor Emelianenko, Chuck Liddell and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua all had very distinctive gear. With this new apparel deal with Reebok, a great deal of that individuality will be taken away.

It will be interesting to see how this deal works out. If it works as intended, it could be transformational in terms of taking care of fighters, especially those in the lower half of the promotion.

Source: UFC.com - Reebok, UFC Announce Landmark Apparel Deal


Click Here To Join Our UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Lee Betting Mailing List