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Dana White's stance on sponsors: Is he protecting UFC's integrity or missing out on big money?

UFC CEO Dana White recently shared an interesting perspective on his approach towards sponsorship deals! The UFC boss made waves last year when after an appearance on comedian Theo Von’s podcast, he demanded the removal of all ‘Peloton’ exercise bikes from the UFC Performance Institute. Von had revealed that the sponsor had demanded an episode of his podcast featuring an interview with Robert Kennedy Jr to be taken down. This incensed the UFC boss so much that he promised Von, that he’d be removing the bikes from the UFC gym immediately.

Now, in a recent conversation with Shannon Sharpe, White opened up about his current approach to business and sponsorships. In his trademark straightforward manner, the UFC head honcho highlighted the fact that his approach towards finding new partners hinges upon them sharing, “…the same belief, philosophies…” and more!

Dana White pulls back the curtain on how he approaches sponsorships with the UFC  

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During his appearance on ‘Club Shay Shay’ with Shannon Sharpe on YouTube, the show’s host kicked off the discussion by asking about the art of negotiation and knowing when to walk away from a deal. White responded by revealing, “I’ve walked away from many deals, many deals, recently too.”

Poll of the day

Do you think Dana White's approach to sponsorship deals is beneficial for the UFC?

Yes, it keeps the brand strong

No, it limits opportunities

Depends on the deal

Not sure

Sharpe further inquired about how White judges if it’s the right time to “walk away” from a deal, prompting the UFC boss to confess, “It’s a gut feeling, you know if something’s right for you or it’s not right for you, and you don’t jump at the first opportunity. Take your time, you pump the brakes, you shop around and see what’s out there and what’s possible.”

The UFC boss also shared that his current stance in life and career has changed. “I’m at a place in my life and in my career, I’m not doing anything for money anymore. I want to be in relationships that I’m comfortable with, I want to be in relationships with people that I’m aligned with and that we have the same belief, philosophies, and whatever it might be.”

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Sharpe then pointed out that it appears that his business dealings are more about partnership than merely financial transactions to which White agreed wholeheartedly. White further emphasized, “…you’re not going to be calling this office 12 times a f**king year, bit*hing about sh*t and you know, the way that a lot of these sponsors think now and act…” and stated that he refuses to be dictated by sponsors who think their financial contribution gives them control over his business or personal life.

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According to his statements, Dana White’s partnerships are those built on mutual respect and shared philosophies, ensuring a successful and principled path forward. But what happens when a sponsor attempts to influence White’s decisions in his personal life?

White once told a sponsor what he thinks of their demands in his trademark fashion  

During his previously mentioned appearance on Theo Von’s podcast, UFC CEO Dana White shared a story of how an important UFC sponsor had tried to ask him to take down a social media post supporting former president, Donald Trump.

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White has been vocal about the impact Trump has had on the UFC and has also revealed that the former president had been a key figure in the promotion’s success in its early days under White’s leadership. As such, White stated on the podcast, “I posted a video for Trump on my personal social media, one of our big sponsors called and said, ‘Take that down.’ You know what I said? ‘Go f*** yourself.’”

In conclusion, as Dana White continues to lead the UFC through the complex world of sports business, his firm stance against external influences dictating his professional and personal endeavors highlights his commitment to maintaining the UFC’s independence and values. What are your thoughts on Dana White’s revelations about his stance on sponsors and business partnerships? Let us know in the comments below!