A constant feature at UFC events for nearly 6 years has been the Reebok logo on attire that fighters have worn whilst making their entry into the arena on fight night. The Reebok tracksuits have also been the designated uniforms at weigh-ins and press conferences.
However, the deal worth $70 million hasn’t pleased fighters. This is because they weren’t able to earn royalties from their own sponsors due to restrictions on logos other than Reebok at UFC events. Speculation emerged that the unrest was due to Reebok not paying enough to make up for sponsorship losses.
However, it could change, as UFC President Dana White let slip that the organization may part ways with the apparel giant.
Are the UFC set to part ways with Reebok?
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani indicated that a split between the UFC and Reebok wouldn’t be surprising. He wrote that he “wouldn’t be surprised if the two sides part ways.”
As per Helwani, “in an interview with Le Batard Show earlier today, Dana said the Reebok deal is coming to an end, he thinks at the end of this year & that they are talking to companies about a new deal. I’ve heard the same.”
However, the UFC President’s next comments indicate that the concept of having a fixed uniform will still stand.
As per Helwani, White said, “The fighters get paid. The fighters get paid for whatever sponsor we have, they get a piece of that. And they can have whatever sponsors they want outside the cage.”
When asked if fighters will be allowed to have sponsors in the cage again, his response was, "The fighters get paid. The fighters get paid for whatever sponsor we have, they get a piece of that. And they can have whatever sponsors they want outside the cage.”
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 29, 2020
This means the ban on fighters promoting their own brands within the cage would still stand. White has been clear on this, and it may help avoid displeasure among fighters.
Earlier they may have felt blindsided by Lorenzo Fertitta’s comments. The UFC CEO insisted fighters could keep their other sponsors. However, it wasn’t explicitly stated that the other sponsors would be restricted at UFC events.
He has said, “They’re still going to be able to keep their other sponsors, so we look at this as being additive. On top of that, they get a royalty for anything that gets sold that actually has their name on it.”
The second part of the statement would have helped some big names. However, the new deal may see fighters pocket much more right from the outset, leading to all parties to be satisfied.
If Reebok indeed bids adieu to the UFC, who do you see as an ideal sponsor?
Continue the conversation on the app, join other MMA fans on MMA Fans App