The UFC has announced a partnership with athletic apparel brand Reebok. Within the MMA community, there’s always been some speculation as to why fighters never had some kind of uniform under the UFC. Now it appears that the common denominator for fighters’ appearance will be the Reebok logo alongside the UFC’s.
The most immediate change for athlete sponsorship will be a whole lot of Reebok Logos guaranteed for Saturday. Effective in July, every current sponsor of athletes in the UFC has to take a major back seat. Athletes will no longer be able to display outside sponsor logos or apparel in UFC related events. That means no more local sponsorship and no more classic cage banners.
While the athletes cannot wear the logos of any associated sponsors in UFC events other than Reebok, the sponsorship dollar of Reebook will be a huge plus for fighters. According to UFC.com, the athletes will get plenty of Reebok apparel, opportunities to generate royalty income for athlete-specific products and greater fighter compensation based on a tiered ranking system as detailed below:
“The tiered compensation levels for fighters, based on the media-selected rankings system, will reward champions of the respective divisions the most. Other tiers will reward fighters ranked 1 through 5 (Tier 2); 5-10 (Tier 3); 10-15 (Tier 4). Unranked fighters will be compensated at a Tier 5 level and those non-ranked fighters will receive the same compensation.”
While this puts a lot of power in the hands of the UFC’s media-based fighter ranking system, this seems like a great deal for UFC athletes. Athletes will no longer have to rough it to find a sponsor to support their athletic endeavor in the UFC. While the current sponsors of fighters will not be able to get the same amount of exposure, it’s hard to argue against what is shaping up to be a great step toward increasing fighter pay. To top off the deal, a portion of the revenue generated by the new line of Reebok products will be donated to Fight for Peace. The nonprofit organization combines boxing and martial arts with education and personal development in communities affected by crime and violence. Fight for Peace provides an alternative to the armed violence and drug trafficking impacting young residents in favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit UFC.com to get the full details on the new sponsorship.