UFC and Reebok Partner for Uniform Deal

UFC-Reebok

The UFC and Reebok held a press conference today to announced the signing of a 6 year sponsorship with the UFC to provide gear, shorts and sponsorship to every fighter signed with the UFC on fight week.  This deal will see the days of fighter provided sponsorships long gone, as the fighters will get all of the money from this sponsorship deal with Reebok, UFC President Dana White stated “every penny goes to the fighters”.  Dana White continued “This is the largest non-broadcast deal that we’ve ever done” and that the fighters will collect 20% on all merchandise in their namesake.

This announcement was met with mixed emotions from fighters, media and fans alike, as many questions have been raised.  Fighters are not allowed to wear non-Reebok sponsorship at UFC events, during fight week and at UFC sponsored events.  Could this lead to fighters holding their own autograph sessions and seminars where they can still use their own sponsorships?  And are those companies willing to sponsor fighters if they don’t get TV time?

One of the larger questions raised was the pay structure for this sponsorship.  Dana White laid out the structure for the sponsorship distribution as follows, the champions get the “lion’s share” of the wages, then 1-5, 6-10 and everyone else.  Every fighter gets paid every time they step into the Octagon, as Dana said “day one, they get paid” as soon as the fighter steps into the octagon to compete.  This is both beneficial and restrictive, as fighters no longer have the choice to walk in with their own sponsors.  Will the pay from this Reebok deal be similar to that of what fighter’s sponsors were paying? Or are fighters left with no option, but to let Zuffa and the UFC control their sponsor income?

The structured sponsorship brings in to question the UFC rankings.  A system that has serious flaws, the ability to rank fighters in different weight classes, fighters who have retired or who have been cut, are all product of the current UFC rankings.  The system needs to change, as over 100 media members from credible and non-credible media outlets were able to rank fighters.  The number of media members ranking fighters has changed to 51, but the system and people ranking the fighters needs to be fixed if fighter’s pay is involved, as many media members are incapable of ranking fighters on a weekly basis.

However, this is good news for those fighters who have gone without getting paid from sponsors in the past.  Time will tell with this sponsorship deal, but there is no question the look of the sport will change.

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Categories: Featured, MMA, UFC

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One Comment on “UFC and Reebok Partner for Uniform Deal”

  1. December 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Awesome news for the smaller fighters and really anyone in tier 5

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